SAN DIEGO – Seven people were injured and one woman died after a gunman opened fire at a University City apartment complex pool Sunday afternoon, police said.
The gunman, identified as 49-year-old Peter Selis, was killed by San Diego police.
Dozens of San Diego police officers responded to the La Jolla Crossroads Apartments at Judicial Drive and Sydney Court after getting calls at 6:07 p.m. from numerous witnesses of a mass shooting.
At a press conference, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said the police helicopter was the first responder to arrive on the scene. The pilot saw the shooter appear to be reloading his large caliber handgun at the pool.
Three police officers approached the pool area and the gunman appeared to point his gun at them, according to Zimmerman. The officers then shot and killed him.
Selis was believed to have been a resident of the apartment complex where the shooting took place. Zimmerman said the motive for the shooting remained unclear.
Prior to the shooting, a large group of people was celebrating a birthday at the pool, according to police.
One man who attended the gathering told FOX 5 the suspect was sitting in a chair at the pool. The witness’ friend approached the suspect and offered for him to join their party, but the man declined to come over.
Ten minutes later, the gunman, who remained seated, started shooting at the group, the witness said. He reloaded his gun and continued to shoot as people ran out of the pool area, he said.
Another witness told FOX 5 about the moments leading up to the officers arriving. He described the gunman as “relaxed” and said he was drinking a beer as the police approached the area.
Four women and three men suffered gunshot wounds and were taken to three hospitals, according to Zimmerman. Another man suffered a broken arm as he was running away from the pool area.
“There were eight victims that were transported and four of the victims were African-American females who were suffering from gunshot wounds that were taken to area hospitals, two African-American males were taken to an area hospital suffering from gunshot wounds, one Hispanic male suffering from a gunshot wound taken to an area hospital and then one African-American male fleeing the area broke his arm when he was fleeing the gunfire,” Zimmerman said.
Police said they believe Selis and at least one of the party-goers lived at the apartment complex.
It’s not clear whether Selis, who was a white man, knew any of the victims, police said.
When asked whether police were investigating the deadly shooting as a hate crime, Zimmerman said, “We are interviewing witnesses and at this time we don’t know the motive is for this shooting.”
Several of the gunshot victims were still in surgery Sunday night, a couple of which were in critical condition, Zimmerman said.
One of the shooting victims later died, Zimmerman said. Her name and the other victims’ names were not released.
For families and friends trying to connect with each other, police set up a reunification center at the northwest corner of Judicial Drive and Golden Haven.