Seven people were wounded and one killed during an attack on a birthday pool party in the La Jolla Crossroads luxury San Diego apartment complex on Sunday.
The attacker, identified as 49 year old Peter Selis, was sitting in a poolside chair while the party was going on. The birthday celebrant approached him and offered to share food and drink with Selis, who declined, and continued to sit quietly in his chair. “Six or seven minutes later it’s just pow, pow, pow, pow — out of nowhere…. There was no indication that he was there to do evil,” partygoer Drew Phillips told the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Witnesses reported that when he opened fire, Selis “never left his poolside chair,” and remained in the chair while reloading as well.
Two young girls, ages 3 and 8, were with a grandmother and a nanny when the shooting started. Their grandfather, Shahrayar Jeff, said they escaped unscathed.
He said the older child described seeing Selis, in a baseball cap and glasses, “relaxing and shooting people.”
Two UC San Diego students who were in a nearby hot tub were too scared to bolt, but then slowly made their way to a wall. One of the students, 20-year-old Kaela Wong, said she heard Selis threaten women trying to help a victim.
“You can either leave or you can stay here and die,” Wong said she heard Selis say.
A police helicopter arrived on the scene at 6:07pm, reporting that Selis “was still in the pool area holding a large-caliber handgun and appeared to be reloading.” (How the helicopter police knew the caliber of handgun is rather unclear.) The air crew directed police on the ground into the area, who shot and killed Selis after he reportedly pointed his gun at them, according to Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman.
Selis’s motive is unknown. The Union-Tribune reports that he was a mechanic at a local Ford dealership, and facing “crushing debt,” filed for bankruptcy in 2015. Based on nearly-identical wording in the news stories from both FoxNews and the Union-Tribune, it appears that the police are drawing attention to the fact that Selis was white, and his victims were either Black or Hispanic. It might be a coincidence, it might not.
California has some of the nation’s strictest gun control laws. It has earned an “A” rating from the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, a gun control lobbying group founded by wealthy trial attorneys such as Elizabeth Cabraser, and which has received backing from Gabby Gifford’s Americans for Responsible Solutions…which is, in turn, funded by plutocrat Mike Bloomberg.
This lobbying group had a hand in writing the bevy of gun control laws enacted by California in 2016 that infringed on Californians’ right to keep and bear arms…none of which did a thing to stop this incident. Instead, the laws were focused on aesthetic characteristics of certain kinds of rifles and background checks for ammunition purchases, not doing anything to help people attending a pool party in San Diego protect themselves against an attack while waiting for police to show up.