PD: Shooter was "despondent" over breakup, called ex while lounging on pool chair

2 victims remain in critical but stable condition
Posted at 9:59 AM, May 01, 2017

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman announced at a Monday morning press conference that 49-year-old mass shooting suspect Peter Raymond Selis was "despondent" over a relationship breakup in the days leading up to the poolside tragedy that claimed one victim's life and left two victims in critical condition.

In fact, the shooter laid on a lounge chair in the La Jolla Crossroads apartment complex pool area and called up his ex-girlfriend to tell her he had just shot two people, Zimmerman said. 

The chief said that family knew he was distraught and depressed but "they had no idea he would resort to this." 

"He wanted his ex-girlfriend to listen in," she said. 

Zimmerman seemed to put to rest the idea that the partygoers were targeted because of their race and/or ethnicities. 

"There is zero information to indicate race played a role," Zimmerman said. "The victims were targeted because of proximity."

Zimmerman also provided the following timeline for the events that unfolded Sunday evening: 

  • 6:06 p.m.: The police communications department receives call saying two people were shot near pool area 
  • 6:06 p.m.: A second called said they hear 5-7 gunshots and see someone outside with a gun
  • 6:07 p.m. - 6:13 p.m.: 20 officers including helicopter are dispatched to scene. Between this time, more calls come in that three to four victims are down in the pool area and the suspect is a white male in his 40s. 
  • 6:13 p.m.: Ground units arrive on scene. Chopper sees armed suspect in pool area and directs ground units to where he was. As police approached the area, the suspect fired his weapon and continued to fire until a sergeant and two officers shot him and he was pronounced deceased. 

Earlier San Diego police said a man opened fire at a group of people in the pool area of an apartment complex on Judicial Drive just after 6 p.m. Sunday. 

A witness said the gunman appeared "relaxed" and was holding a beer as he shot at partygoers.

According to police, four women and three men were shot, while one man broke his arm as he tried to run from the scene.

Responding officers confronted the gunman -- who reportedly reloaded -- in the pool area, and following an exchange of gunfire, the gunman was killed.

All victims were taken to area hospital. Two victims are in critical but stable condition but all are expected to survive.

One victim, a female, died Sunday at the hospital. She was not immediately identified.

Selis was a resident at the complex, but it is unclear if the gunman knew the victims. Selis worked as a mechanic at a local auto dealership but filed for bankruptcy in 2015.