88-year-old vet killed in San Diego CA . break-in

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dr. Clark Kelly, 88, died of head injuries after possibly interrupting a break-in at his San Diego veterinary clinic, California police say.

Screengrab of KFMB video

A beloved 88-year-old vet died after apparently interrupting a break-in at his San Diego clinic, California police reported.

Agents found Dr. Clark Kelly at 3:29 PM at his clinic in the Rolando ward with a head injury. Wednesday, June 15, the San Diego Police Department said in a press release. He died an hour later in a hospital.

Police arrested Patrick O’Brien, 37, of San Diego on suspicion of murder, the release said. A “concerned citizen” had detained O’Brien outside the El Cajon Boulevard clinic.

“At this point, it appears that the victim has interrupted a possible break-in at the veterinary clinic and that a confrontation has developed between the suspect and the elderly victim,” police said.

Kelly, who ran the Boulevard Animal Clinic, was remembered as “a great figure around,” the KNSD reported.

“You were a special beacon of light to our community,” a tribute read at a growing memorial to Kelly outside his clinic, according to KFMB.

“Thank you, Dr. Kelly,” read another. “Rest in peace..”

“He was someone we could turn to,” Joseph Mendez, a 30-year-old customer, told the KNSD. “He worked with you, he wasn’t greedy. He was a great, great man and we have lost a very good man.”

Don Sweeney has been a newspaper reporter and editor in California for over 25 years. He has been a real-time reporter at The Sacramento Bee since 2016.