Filmmaker, John Charles Upton Jr., has been killed in Encinitas, California in shooting incident this week, according to reports.
- (Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)
According to authorities, it is thought that the 56 year old filmmaker may have been shot due to a "property dispute."
Upton's 61 year old neighbor, Michael Vilkin, was arrested by police after the shooting, and is thought to be the main suspect in the killing.
Filmmaker Upton is most famous for a 1990s film he made about teenage promiscuity. He also went on to carry out work with Romanian orphans and was highly praised for his compassionate actions.
Previously Upton had spoken about his actions with Romanian orphans saying, "There just wasn't any doubt in my mind that I could do something, that I could make a difference with these kids. But I didn't waste much time thinking about it, I just went."
In his work with Romanian orphans he was able to transport more than 20 children orphans to America.
He has said about that work, "I went in there with the attitude of the angry American, someone who was going to right the wrongs he found.
"I expected heartless officials and corruption. But that's not what I found at all. I found people who wanted to act but were handicapped by a lack of resources."
According to reports, Upton's brother, Michael, has confirmed to reporters that he had had heated arguments with neighbor Vilkin in the past, regarding property issues with trees.
His brother said, "[He] wrapped a gun in his jacket and proceeded to bait my brother and pulled out the gun and shot [him] in the head."
In a tragic twist for the family, the brother also reported that their mother also passed away just hours before Upton was shot dead. She died of cancer.
Here is a video of John Upton's work with Romanian orphans: