Shooting near Cal Poly may be related to drug deal, police say

Crime scene tape is put up at the house where a shooting occurred Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, near Cal Poly.
Crime scene tape is put up at the house where a shooting occurred Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, near Cal Poly.

A shooting at a San Luis Obispo home Thursday night that left a former Cal Poly football player hospitalized may have been the result of a drug transaction gone bad, police said.

Officers responded to a report of a shooting at 7:45 p.m. in the 400 block of Buena Vista Avenue and found Geoffrey Hyde, 22, with a gunshot wound to the back.

Hyde was an all-conference center who played four seasons from 2009-12 for Cal Poly before volunteering as a student assistant coach with the Mustangs this fall.

Police investigators believe two men entered the house, possibly to complete a transaction involving prescription drugs, according to a news release. An altercation ensued between Hyde and one of the assailants. The man pulled out a handgun and shot Hyde in the back, police said. Both men then ran from the residence and fled in an unknown direction, possibly in a vehicle.

Hyde was treated at the scene and taken to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center, where he received emergency surgery. At the request of Hyde’s family, the hospital is not releasing his medical condition, spokesman Ron Yukelson said.

No suspects were in custody as of Friday evening.

Sgt. Fred. Mickel declined to say if Hyde was allegedly buying or selling the drugs, or what drugs were involved.

The gunman was described as a black man in his 20s, about 6 feet tall, with a lanky build and wearing a gray “South Pole” sweatshirt and jeans, police said. His companion was described as a Hispanic male in his 20s, about 5 feet, 6 inches tall with a “chubby build” and short hair.

“For awhile, police were wandering the neighborhood with flashlights,” said Gary Steinmann, a neighbor. Steinmann said he was unloading his car just before the shooting, and witnessed two males speaking on the sidewalk in front of the home, which had its front door open. He also saw a white car parked with its lights on for several minutes before the shooting, he said.

Steinmann emerged from his home five minutes later, not having heard the shot, to see five police cars, an ambulance and a fire truck — then a man being wheeled out of the home on a gurney, awake and with an IV.

According to his athletic department bio, Hyde was a New Jersey native who came west at 8 years old when his family moved to Southern California. There, he became an Eagle Scout and earned All-CIF-Southern Section Pac 5 Division honors in football for Esperanza High School in Anaheim. He listed basketball, hiking and playing guitar as hobbies and admired pro cyclist Lance Armstrong for overcoming cancer to dominate the sport

Investigation of the case is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the San Luis Obispo Police Department at 781-7353 or Crime Stoppers at 549-STOP.