Another Mass Shooting in a State with Strict Gun Control Laws

Nelvin C. Cepeda / San Diego Union-Tribune

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.


  1. avatar James says:

    Anything on the stabbing at University of Texas today? I’ve heard unconfirmed reports that “eyewitnesses have reported seeing a student pull out a concealed handgun on the suspect, and made him back down.”

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      This should be on the other story about the actual attack at University of Texas. At any rate I doubt a student with a concealed handgun made the attacker back down if this snippet from Fox News is accurate:

      Lindsey Clark said she saw the suspect get tackled by police as he was running toward the entrance of Jester Hall …

      Here is the source for the above quote:

    2. avatar Pray Hard says:

      He should have shot him in the head.

      Stabber is probably moslem and or antifa.

  2. avatar strych9 says:

    A whole article to troll The Resistance. Lulz!

    1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

      I am blessed.

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        I have this mental image of you clinking bottles together on your fingers while typing this article one handed and saying “Resistance… Come out and pllaaaaaaaayyyyyy!”.

        1. avatar bay area Bill says:

          now that was a great movie!

  3. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    I thought the gun laws in San Diego would prevent this exact occurrence. Oh wait, criminals and crazies don’t obey laws. What was I thinking.

    1. avatar Jeff K says:

      Laws only provide a means for prosecution, nothing else.

      1. avatar Button Gwinnet says:

        Exactly. It’s such a simple concept, yet so rarely understood.

  4. avatar Chase says:

    That was less than a mile from my place of work. I love what you guys at TTAG do everyday. Nothing but respect from a man behind enemy lines.

  5. avatar Jeff K says:

    If we only had ONE more law, this could have been prevented; you mean murder is already illegal?

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Well, the pool was probably a ‘no guns zone’ soooo… 😉

  6. avatar George Steele says:

    Nothing to do with California’s gun control laws. Everything to do with the fact that California is a nutcase sanctuary, starting from the Governor on down.

  7. avatar Mark N. says:

    Well, a bit over the top. None of the laws passed last session that you mention, the AR ban or the ammo law, had anything to do with this incident, the first because he didn’t use an AR and registration, in any event, hasn’t begun, and the second because that law hasn’t gone into effect either. He was on private property, so the CCW laws were inapplicable too; any one of these people could have lawfully had a CCW (unless the condominium rules banned firearms).

    This is just another suicide by cop, another loser going out with a bang. A kind of crime that no law can prevent.

    1. avatar Jeff K says:

      Since when do laws prevent crime? Criminals don’t care about laws.

  8. avatar Mark N. says:

    Just a side question: when does a handgun become “large caliber”?

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      When an ignorant reporter wants to sensationalize a story.

    2. avatar AlanInFL says:

      Anything greater than the Media’s idea of a pea shooter size.

      What surprised me. No one at the condo owned (I know it California. But what is the odds anyone owning a firearm in the condo) or used a firearm to stop the threat.

  9. avatar anonymoose says:

    I have the feeling that when they said a “large caliber handgun” they probably meant a 6″ revolver, most likely in .357 Magnum, but that’s just an impression and there’s no way I or the helicopter pilot would know that. It would explain why he was reloading after shooting 8 people, though.

  10. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Perhaps as more of these shootings happen in California some day the wrong victim will be killed and things will start to change for the better.

    But for now don’t worry. You got legal pot to get high with now in Cali. You got crystal meth to improve your sexual experience. You can have sex in public on government approved days in the state. You can legally put anything “up” inside you now. But you cannot put raw milk down your throat. The police will arrest you.

    You can have wonderful displays of homosexual sex in public. But you can”t have a poster size picture of a gun in a store front window in California.

    1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      You triggered me by saying “Cali.” Time to say “oops”:

      Next thing we know people will be saying San Fran (and maybe even Sac) in public. Before we know it people will start translating: The Olives, Skull County, Tall Tree, Big Water, St. Louis the Bishop, etc. =)

    2. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

      (Pardon my off-topic comment. You have a point, even if some of those things aren’t legal or illegal yet.)

      1. avatar Chris T in KY says:

        “The fact of the matter is that you’ll still be able to run around San Francisco naked on certain days of the year. Wiener’s proposal includes an exception to the ban during festivals and on certain beaches. And obviously, the new ban is only as strict as the SFPD wants it to be.”

        I was born and raised in Sacramento. I know California very well. It is totally legal to have sex in public as I said, when the government days its ok. Homosexual pride parades aren’t the only ones.
        The Folsom Street Fair is just one of many sex festivals in the area.

        But don’t worry you do not need a gun. The government says you can walk around naked on certain days, free from arrest. Being legally naked in Cali is more important than having a gun. The elected leadership and voters in the state says so.

        1. avatar OmnivorousBeorn says:

          I was in California for over a decade, so I understand that, but I know for a fact that at least a year ago it was (barely) legal to buy or sell raw milk, and I’m pretty sure people have posters of guns in their (gun) shop windows; all the other things you mentioned are legal as far as I know. That said, just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s allowed, and just because it’s illegal doesn’t mean it’s not allowed.

          You’re main point about California’s depravity is dead on; I was just kidding around, and then decided to try to be serious, and then got annoying by nit-picking.

  11. avatar Mad Cow says:

    The way I’ve seen this story spun by the main stream media is that the shooter was stopped “as he was reloading”, giving more “credibility” to magazine restrictions. From eye witness accounts, this is false, but of course this doesn’t matter.

  12. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Unrelated thought…. I wonder if they will trace the serial number of the gun back to the original purchaser? They want to do it for every other gun so why not this one?

  13. avatar SurfGW says:

    The gun was a SiG P220 .45 according to the radio. This is a single stack California legal gun which is why he had to reload.
    Why did no one rush him while reloading?

    1. avatar Jeff K says:

      Why didn’t anyone in Charleston, SC rush their assassin while he reloaded a couple of times? They sat there and waited to be executed.

  14. avatar tjlarson2k says:

    So, when is the NRA and POG going to abolish the political term “mass shooter” and “active shooter”?

    The goal of those terms is to villify the act of shooting, which has no good or evil alignment, it is neutral.

    I miss the days of more accurate reports of “serial killer” and “murderer” that have emphasis on the person’s crime rather than focusing the tool.

    Serial killer with a knife puts the blame of the act on the person. “Mass stabbing” sounds like a disembodied knife was floating around stabbing people.

    I’m just tired of the BS political wordplay that caters to a lowest common denominator audience.

    1. avatar Johannes Paulsen says:

      I invest no ego in word selection, so if you have a better phrase to use that cuts through the nonsense efficiently and understandably, let me know.

  15. avatar FB says:

    Just to be clear, he was not a criminal. He was a nut job that snapped because his girlfriend broke up with him. In fact, he went through the normal NICS background checks and had the CA gun safety card.
    So, the same concept applies, Gun Control will not stop nut jobs only force multipliers.
    Unfortunately, our Sheriff Gore is corrupt and will not hand out permits, hence the whole Peruta case hopefully headed to the supreme court.

  16. avatar K Maiden says:

    We all know that gun control is NOT about crime, criminals, nut jobs. Gun control has always been about CONTROL of the serfs and political elites giving each other pats on the back, with the look at me, I did something grin.

  17. avatar LHW says:

    Move along, nothing to see here.

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