A Reward of $15K Offered in 2021 Killing of Navy Sailor in La Mesa

Law enforcement officials are seeking assistance from the public in their efforts to identify and apprehend the individuals behind the tragic killing of 22-year-old U.S. Navy sailor Corneilius Donte Brown last year.

According to Officer Mark Herring of the San Diego Police Department, multiple 911 calls were made to the La Mesa Police Department on April 24, 2021, around 12:26 a.m., reporting gunshots heard in the vicinity of 4300 Echo Court in La Mesa.

Upon receiving the call, officers swiftly responded to the scene at 4306 Echo Court, #A. Inside the residence, they discovered a gunshot victim, later identified as Brown, according to Herring. According to an officer, Brown was shot multiple times in the upper body and was rushed to Sharp Memorial Hospital. Tragically, he passed away during surgery.

“Brown was shot when he answered an unexpected knock at the front door,” stated Herring, citing witnesses who were present in the apartment. “When Brown opened the door, he came face to face with two suspects.” A barrage of gunfire was unleashed by one of the suspects, targeting Brown.

The suspects were seen fleeing in the direction of southbound Echo Court and then continuing eastbound on Echo Drive. Two individuals, who were seen wearing ski masks and black hooded sweatshirts, were identified as the suspects. Brown served as an active-duty U.S. Navy Sailor stationed at Naval Base Coronado. A third-class petty officer has been serving on the USS Abraham Lincoln since 2018.

In a show of determination, the victim’s family has announced a substantial reward of $9,000. This generous sum is further bolstered by contributions of $1,000 from Crime Stoppers and $5,000 from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Dave Summers from NBC 7 interviewed the mother of the victim to discuss the significance of apprehending these criminals. In high school, Brown excelled in basketball, football, and tennis, showcasing his athletic abilities in Columbia, South Carolina. A young man put his education on hold to fulfill his duty to his nation. Adrienne Brown-Mills takes great pride in this.

The bond we shared was unbreakable. “I miss Cornelius dearly,” his mother expressed. According to numerous reports, Brown was described as a compassionate and modest individual. He was well-received by the majority of people he encountered.

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A Case With no Obvious Clues

The reason behind the violent end to his life on April 24 remains a mystery. After carefully examining eyewitness accounts and thoroughly reviewing the evidence, it has been almost three years since any significant breakthrough has been made.

“We have persevered.” NCIS remains relentless in their pursuit of justice. Lt. Katy Lynch from La Mesa Police Department’s Investigations Unit expressed the commitment to continue working on the case, emphasizing the importance of providing answers to Cornelius’s mother. According to Lt. Lynch, this shooting does not appear to be random, although investigators have not yet found any obvious clues. The nature of their relationship remains unknown at this time. “The motive for this murder is still unknown,” stated Lt. Lynch.

Two individuals are currently at large, accused of committing murder and are being sought for capture. “They need to be off the streets,” stated Brown-Mills. Every day, she mourns the tragic loss of her son. The situation has had a devastating impact on her and the entire family. A grieving mother seeks answers for her son’s tragic demise, while also striving to honor his memory.

“I urge everyone to remember my son,” she stated. Brown-Mills described the individual as someone who exudes positivity, with a charming smile and a delightful personality.

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