Police Searching for Leads in Murder of SJSU Nursing Student

A 19-year-old woman shot and killed Saturday while a passenger in a car in downtown San Jose was a student at San Jose State University slated to return to classes later this month, a spokeswoman said Monday.

Kimberly Joyce Chico had been enrolled at the college since June 2012 and was to begin her second school year there on Aug. 20, university media relations director Pat Lopes Harris said.

"It's very rare that we have a student caught in the wrong place at the wrong time like this," Harris said. "Very tragic."

"Our prayers and our thoughts go out to her and her family," Harris said.

Chico, who was at first identified by San Jose police as Kimberly Joyce Estrada, was shot at about 1:20 a.m. Saturday in the area of South Second and East San Salvador streets, police Sgt. Jason Dwyer said.

She was in the passenger seat of a car when someone standing outside fired a gun at her, Dwyer said.

"At this point we don't have a motive, we don't have any suspects identified," Dwyer said.

"Whether somebody was shooting directly into the car, or whether it was just driving through as shots were being fired outside the car and she just happened to be there, we don't know," Dwyer said.

"In a case like this, where the homicide detectives literally have nothing to go on, it's always somebody from the community that gives us a kick start and points us in a certain direction with the investigation."

The shooting happened in the area of East San Salvador that has a high concentration of nightclubs and potential witnesses, Dwyer said.

"Somebody saw something, somebody knows something about this case," Dwyer said.

The driver of the car carrying Chico was not hit and called 911, Dwyer said.

Chico was transported to Regional Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, Dwyer said.

The homicide marks the city's 30th of the year compared to 25 at this time in 2012, Dwyer said.

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