TUSTIN (CBSLA.com) — A 53-year-old Santa Ana man was arrested Friday in connection with the shooting death of a mixed martial arts studio owner in Tustin.
Kirk Vernell Price was taken into custody about 1 a.m. and booked into the Orange County Jail on suspicion of murder. He was being held in lieu of $1 million bail, Tustin police Lt. Bob Wright said.READ MORE: 'We're Ready To Go': Firefighters Warn Of Southern California Fire Danger In Coming Weeks
He is accused of fatally shooting Fahness Lutalo Thursday afternoon at the OC Boxing & MMA Academy on Newport Avenue.
Gym workers said Price was the 44-year-old victim’s former student. Investigators are trying to determine the motive.
Even though the suspect is in custody, police still want the public’s help tracking down the suspect’s vehicle and murder weapon.
Wright said the suspect’s vehicle is a black 2013 Chevrolet Spark with tinted windows and license number 7BMS565.READ MORE: Car Crashes Into And Ignites Biomat USA Plasma Building On Western Avenue; Multiple People Dead And Trapped Inside
Anyone with information is urged to call Tustin police at (714) 573-3250.
Price has a lengthy criminal history for robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and various parole violations, the lieutenant said.
Lutalo’s father, Jerry Wilson, said it was his son’s dream to open a mixed martial arts gym.
According to the gym’s website, the father of three had more than 30 years of experience in martial arts and was a former wrestling coach at Valencia High School.MORE NEWS: 13 Injured In Downtown Austin Shooting, Authorities Say
A GoFundMe account has been set up to help the victim’s family with funeral expenses.