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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A gunman despondent over a recent breakup opened fire at a poolside birthday party and phoned his ex-girlfriend as he kept shooting strangers, killing one woman and injuring six other partygoers before he was killed by officers, police said Monday.

Peter Selis, 49, sat on a pool chair during most of the rampage, calmly shooting guests at the party with a .45-caliber handgun. The victims were black and Latino and Selis was white, but police don’t think race played a factor.

“These victims were just in his vicinity when he committed this terrible tragedy,” Chief Shelley Zimmerman said. “What started as a celebration of a friend’s birthday party turned into a tragedy of epic proportions.”

Witnesses said Selis was wearing a black coat and sitting alone during the party for a man’s 50th birthday Sunday at an apartment complex near the University of California, San Diego.

At one point the guest of honor invited the man to join the party. That’s when Selis drew a handgun and shot the honoree in the torso, said Demetrius Griffin, a friend at the party.

“He didn’t stand up. He sat the whole time. Even when he reloaded his magazine, he sat in his chair,” said Griffin. “It was very eerie, to say the least. He didn’t stand up. He didn’t say anything. He just opened fire.”

After shooting two people, Selis called his ex-girlfriend and said what he’d done and that police were there and then continued firing.

“It is apparent that Selis wanted his ex-girlfriend to listen in as he carried out his rampage,” Zimmerman said.

Selis shot four black women, two black men and one Latino man, police said.

Two victims remained in critical condition, but were expected to survive, Zimmerman said. Another man was taken to the hospital after he broke his arm running away.

Rikky Galiendes, 27, said he heard between eight to 10 gunshots around 6 p.m. and looked outside his sixth-story apartment in University City, a diverse neighborhood near the campus. He spotted a man bleeding and running near the pool below.

Galiendes said he called out to ask if the man needed help when his roommate grabbed him, yanked him down and pointed toward a man sitting in a chair with a gun.

“When we looked over the balcony, he was just sitting down with a gun on his lap,” Galiendes said. “He was calm, you know. I mean from my perspective, the guy was ready to do whatever he was going to do. He shot at people having a good time and having a party.”

Galiendes and his roommate ran back inside and called police.

A police helicopter arrived first, and the pilot reported seeing multiple victims on the ground and that Selis appeared to be reloading in the pool area, the police chief said.

Three officers arrived and shot Selis after he pointed a large-caliber handgun at them, she said.

Selis and one of the partygoers lived at the complex in the diverse community north of downtown San Diego.

Selis, a father who worked as a mechanic at a Ford dealership, filed for federal bankruptcy protection in October 2015, listing $14,000 in assets and $108,000 in liabilities, according to court records.

“This is truly a horrific act of violence,” San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a news conference. “Our entire city, all of our thoughts and prayers, all San Diegans’ thoughts and prayers, are with the victims and their families tonight.”

Galiendes and his roommate stayed indoors until neighbors yelled that it was safe to come out. He said the scene was horrifying.

“As soon as I heard the gunshots, I had goosebumps and the whole thing was really emotionally draining — seeing blood everywhere, seeing bodies on the ground, hoping they survived, seeing bloody footsteps you know of people who ran away. There was just so much blood. It was so surreal.”

Galiendes, a student at UC San Diego, said he has lived in the complex since September.

“It was chilling,” he said. “La Jolla is known to be really safe, and this is a family neighborhood.”

___

Associated Press reporters Christopher Weber, Michael Balsamo and Brian Melley in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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20 thoughts on “Police Believe Race Was Not A Factor In California Pool Party Shooting

  1. African American Woman on said:

    Its absolutely overwhelming to think that there are so many people out here who are on the brink and what they plan to do to avenge whatever they feel they’ve been wronged for…access to guns, drugs, violence, social media makes it so much easier for folks to act out what they feel and if they want their 15 minutes of fame, they take others with them…this world is going to hell faster every day.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    I definitely agree, he took a page from Stephen’s playbook, it didn’t appear he was mentally ill either, just wanted a last whoorah. The best thing stephens did that day (although very horrific) was stopped at one murder, and the best thing he did the day he died was kill himself.

  3. Looks like he took a page out of Steve Stephen’s playbook. He won’t be the last. Everyone wants that 15 minutes. Even if the last 15 minutes. Just sick.

  4. African American Woman on said:

    Hi Special…hope all is well with you…offhand, no, I wouldn’t think that he was targeting white people unless he made it clear he was targeting white people…mental illness is just that…we see the wake of what mentally ill people do on a daily basis…no one knows why, they just act…

    • specialt757 on said:

      I’m good AAW, heart to heart, I was having this conversation with someone today where we were discussing our thoughts on why people are in the turmoil state they are in, ESPECIALLY young folks. We are hearing more and more of this heroine and opioids addictions, young suicides, and murder suicides, etc… We concluded of course there may be many reasons; no one is the same for each. However, this person said he believes that it is because of the many things that’s being thrown in their direction and that they see things that make them “unsteady” or disheartened about their own circumstances.

    • specialt757 on said:

      Continued:
      Example: Facebook, twits, IG, other social media where people seem to flaunt their seemingly wonderful lives for all to see. You and I know they are not always as they seem. However, to someone who is not doing well, some through fault of their own, some through other “forces”, they wonder why their lives are so messed up and others seem to have it all. When you’re not focused or have goals and dreams to pursue, you seem to lose reality and then you don’t want to live anymore. I don’t think that is mental illness, I think it’s the easy way out, no one wants to do the work that it takes to make their lives better, they want to check out and sometimes take others with them.

      • specialt757 on said:

        Disclaimer: these are my thoughts only through my observations, if someone you know committed suicide, I’m in no way referring to that person, that person may have been diagnosed with a mental illness.

      • Diane on said:

        Speacialt, You have very thoughtful comments. I agree with your analogy. Your comments speaks volume. Very insightful. I agree it’s not always about mental illness.

      • specialt757 on said:

        Thank you Diane, I appreciate that. I’m always surprised by people’s reactions to my posts, mostly the good reactions lol.

  5. African American Woman on said:

    Please people…Can it just be the man was crazy and there were a bunch of people who happened to be black and Hispanic around? His motive wasn’t to shoot black people, it was to avenge his girlfriend’s leaving him…He even told a woman to leave or get shot.

    • specialt757 on said:

      Nope! It can’t be. DRoof didn’t kill one of the parishioners because he wanted her to tell the story, I put this ass wipe in the same category, crazy racist white fool. I’m just glad the good tax payers of this county, city, and state don’t have to foot the bill for a long prison stay for his racists behind. The best thing he did that day was die.

      • African American Woman on said:

        He would have shot anyone who happened to be in the path of his bullets. It just happened to be people of color… Mental illness is sometimes, just that; mental illness. There is no proof that this man made any racial remarks, he just started shooting. Only good thing to come out of this that the police put an end to this crazy guy.

      • specialt757 on said:

        AAW I want you to answer this honestly, no faking. Would you have those same thoughts if it were a black man and killed white party goers for no apparent reason? Nowhere did it mention this guy had a mental illness, people might assume that, but even you mentioned he was distraught over his breakup with his girlfriend.

      • specialt757 on said:

        His “mental illness” should have driven him to kill himself, not total strangers.

  6. specialt757 on said:

    Yes, it had all to do with racism. He like everyone else across the globe have been conditioned since birth to not value the lives of black Americans and/or blacks in general. This murdering scum could have easily sat his ass down in a group of white folks and began pulling the trigger, but he was raised to believe black and brown lives don’t matter, just like macdaddy, larry, chris, petey, and ALL the other trolls. Sorry their mothers were pieces of shit and didn’t care enough about her young to eat them after they were born, hell or even before conception.

    • americanize on said:

      Damn Specialt u knocked this one out the park.Now they want to say the white savage beast,s has a mental problem.That,s just reserve for white folks.Well we know he,s now with his creator the DEVIL.

  7. Mac Daddy on said:

    Notice they call out the race of the shooter as white, but leave that detail of the U of Texas stabber out of the story. Hmmmmm

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