A man opened fire and shot seven people at a birthday pool party in an apartment complex near the University of California, San Diego on Sunday. One of his victims later died. The 49- year-old shooting suspect was himself shot and killed by the police who responded to the scene of the crime.
Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said in a news conference that they received reports of a man shooting people by the swimming pool at around 6 pm. The victims include four black women, two black men, and one Hispanic man. They were brought to the hospital, where one black woman later died.
The police are still investigating, and have yet to determine the motive for the attack. They are not ruling out the possibility that it was a hate crime, with the suspect being white and all his victims are people of color. Yet there is no clear proof yet that would establish the shooting incident to be a case of a hate crime.
The suspect was identified as Peter Selis, 49. Zimmerman said that some of the victims were still undergoing surgery late Sunday while others were still in critical condition. Another man was also taken to the hospital after he broke his arm while fleeing from the scene.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer also spoke in a news conference and said that it is truly a horrific act of violence that took place in their city. He said their thoughts are with the victims and their families.
A police helicopter arrived on the scene first and the pilot said he saw multiple victims and that the suspect was still in the pool area and appeared to be reloading his gun. Another witness in the apartment complex said that they could see the shooter in the area holding a beer in one hand, and a gun in the other. Zimmerman also said it is believed that one of the partygoers lived in the same complex.
The suspect was killed by police after they shot him, in reaction to his aggressive move of pointing a large caliber hand gun at them. Initial reports by the police say Selis lived in the complex. Before opening fire at the partygoers, a friend of the suspect reportedly even offered Selis food and drinks at the party. There was said to be no indication that he planned on shooting people beforehand, said a witness. Selis, however, was facing some tough problems at the time. Selis, a father and a car mechanic, "faced crushing debt" and previously filed for bankruptcy.