Several residents of La Jolla Crossroads complex in the University City area of San Diego were enjoying a poolside birthday party when a gunman opened fire, injuring at least seven and killing one. As several witnesses claimed, the assailant looked eerily calm as he loaded the gun while holding beer in one hand.
The suspect, identified as 49-year-old Peter Selis, was fatally shot by police officers responding to the crime scene after he appeared to point his gun at them. The mass shooter was described as a white man wearing brown shorts while all of his victims belonged to minority communities — including four African-American women, two African-American men, one Hispanic man and an African-American man who broke his arm fleeing.
“Our communications division received numerous calls that several people had been shot in the pool area. The helicopter arrived on scene and saw that there were numerous victims in the pool area,” said San Diego Police chief Shelley Zimmerman during a press conference. “The suspect pointed the gun at our officers and three of our officers fired on the suspect and the suspect went down and the suspect is deceased.”
According to the initial dispatch audio, the gunman was described as a white man in his 40s, loading a gun near the gated complex pool. The 911 caller also said he heard multiple gunshots.
The authorities claimed all of the victims were critically wounded. Sadly, one of them, a woman whose name has not yet been revealed, shortly succumbed to her wounds.
“He had his beer in one hand and his gun in the other,” a witness told CBS affiliate KFMB-TV. “There were two victims lying on the ground, one trying to crawl toward the other one to help.”
Another witness told FOX 5 something similar, adding he saw three people being shot, so he ran into the clubhouse and looked out the window, noticing two other bloodied bodies and an injured man crawling over to one of them, trying to help.
“We looked at the pool area where the shooter was sitting there with a beer in one hand and a gun in the other,” they said. “The suspect looked pretty relaxed, pretty relaxed.”
Several residents were able to record the shooting.
Shooting in San Diego pic.twitter.com/dJxvvXRBij— jonathan_biles (@jbiless) May 1, 2017
Shocking video shows moments during a mass shooting at a University City apartment complex.— KUSI News (@KUSINews) May 1, 2017
Video Courtesy of: 2IKKY (Snapchat) pic.twitter.com/H43MwLnH0F
It is not yet clear if Selis knew any of the victims, but as several media outlets have reported, court records showed Selis lost the custody of his minor children to his wife, Michelle Selis, back in 2008. He also had 1998 family court case from Idaho labeled “reciprocal support family law.”
His Facebook page appears to have been deleted.
“This was a truly horrific and disturbing act,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer. “We pray for the victims and thank our first responders. Our city rejects this senseless violence.”
Although the police have not yet labeled the mass shooting as hate crime, claiming they are still investigating the matter, several social media users pointed out how quick everyone — particularly President Donald Trump and his administration — would have been to call it an act of terrorism had the assailant been brown or a Muslim.
A mass shooter named "Peter Selis" injured 7, and killed 1, at a San Diego pool tonight, so don't expect Donald Trump to tweet about it.— Jensen Karp (@JensenClan88) May 1, 2017
Peter Selis: Any time the media gives out the description of a suspect & they fail to mention the race; Best believe the suspect is white.— Data Scientist (@DataScienceOne) May 1, 2017
The Russian Trump Trolls would be tweeting 10x a minute if Peter Selis wasn't white, I live near University City in La Jolla, very sad day— Truthtalker (@Brotatopics) May 1, 2017
I'm gonna say one political thing about Peter Selis: If this guy had been Muslim, the alt-right would have already pushed this to trend #1.— MonkeyKingOfTheHall (@VitruvianMonkey) May 1, 2017
8 Black ppl were wounded by a mass shooting in San Diego. The media is hiding info that this was a targeted shooting by a white supremacist— Tariq Nasheed (@tariqnasheed) May 1, 2017
This is a developing story.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters