San Diego man shoots seven at birthday party, one dead

Police investigating motives

The gunman who shot seven people and killed a woman at an apartment complex in San Diego has been identified as 49-year-old Peter Selis, a resident of a nearby apartment complex. According to witnesses, Selis never even left his chair when he began shooting up at a birthday party being held at the complex. Police soon shot and killed Selis, and the police are currently investigating potential motives and interviewing witnesses. Police made a point to say that they are unsure if race was a factor, as the victims were African-Americans and Hispanics. The seven shot, plus others injured in an attempt to escape, were taken to nearby hospitals. One of the shooting victims was the man celebrating his birthday by the apartment pool.

Drew Phillips said that he saw his friend approach Selis earlier during the party to offer him a drink or something to eat. Selis declined the offer and continued to sit at his chair without interacting with other partygoers. At 6 PM, about six or seven minutes after he was offered refreshments, he began shooting the people at the party. The 30 or so people around the pool began to scatter, and at least one man broke his arm in the ensuing chaos. Kaela Wong says that she heard Selis threaten a pair of female students trying to help an injured partygoer, telling them, “You can either leave or you can stay here and die.” An unidentified witness said that they saw Selis keep a beer in one hand as he was shooting off bullets. When the police arrived, Selis pointed the gun at the officers, which led the police to respond in kind.

Not much is currently known about Selis’ background, and it has not been confirmed if he knew anyone at the party. According to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune, Selis filed for bankruptcy in 2015 after struggling with debt as a car mechanic at a local Ford dealership.

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