Father: CA condo victims were Navy pilot, sister

January 2, 2012 - 8:05 PM

A Navy pilot in training who recently took his first flight in an F/A-18 fighter jet and his sister, a girls volleyball coach, were among the four people found dead in a New Year's Day shooting at a condominium in a toney neighborhood on San Diego Bay, the victims' father said Monday.

David Reis, 25, who was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, and his sister Karen Reis, 24, were confirmed as victims by the Navy, said their father, Tom Reis of Bakersfield.

The siblings were found at the Coronado condo after authorities responded to a report of gunfire shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday.

"It's still a shocker," said Rebecca Bailey, 26, who played college volleyball with Karen Reis and later coached with her at a high school and club program. "This kind of thing doesn't happen to people like her and David. Their family is the family everybody wants to be a part of. They're just so loving, and there's so much love in their family."

The elder Reis said he didn't know who else was at the condo in the wealthy seaside community where his son had been living.

"He just had his first F/A-18 flight," Tom Reis said. "Oh man, he loved it."

David Reis held a mechanical engineering degree from the University of New Mexico. Karen Reis graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2009 and stayed in the area, coaching volleyball and working at a grocery store.

"She has a really great spirit and knows how to make things fun," Bailey said.

The remaining victims were another 25-year-old Navy man and a 31-year-old man from Chula Vista, authorities said. Their names were not immediately released.

Officials found a dead man in the doorway to the three-story condo and the bodies of two men and a woman inside in different parts of the structure.

It was not immediately clear how the four people died. However, authorities previously said they did not believe there were any outstanding suspects.

Messages left Monday with Navy Region Southwest and the San Diego County sheriff's homicide detail were not immediately returned.

Neighbor Don Hubbard said he was awakened by the shots that he thought were fired by New Year's revelers. He went back to sleep, but two hours later got a phone call and heard SWAT teams swarming the area.

Hubbard, a retired Navy commander, said he saw the body of one man in the condo doorway and recognized him as his neighbor — a Navy pilot receiving training at Miramar.

"I knew these guys were pilots because I was one and we'd talk about airplanes," Hubbard said. "Even now, you say, how could this have happened? What the hell is going on here?"

The condo is located a few blocks from the famed Hotel del Coronado and a block from the main street lined with boutiques and restaurants.

Coronado is home to Naval Air Station North Island and is a haven for Navy retirees. Homicides are extremely rare in Coronado — just one was recorded in 2010.