De­pressed over break-up, he wanted wo­man to hear him shoot vic­tims

New Straits Times - - World -


APOOL party was in full swing when a lone man, who was re­clin­ing on a lounge chair with a blank ex­pres­sion, pulled out a gun from his waist­band and be­gan shoot­ing.

As bod­ies fell on the pool deck and peo­ple ran for their lives, the gunman, crest­fallen over a break-up, di­alled up his ex-girlfriend so she could lis­ten as he con­tin­ued fir­ing at strangers.

Although Peter Selis, 49, was white, all but one of the vic­tims were black and Latino, said San Diego po­lice chief Shel­ley Zim­mer­man on Mon­day, adding that there was “zero in­di­ca­tion” race was a mo­tive.

In­stead, the at­tack that killed one wo­man and in­jured six seemed to be driven by a re­cent split with the wo­man he called af­ter he shot his first two vic­tims.

“It is ap­par­ent that Selis wanted his ex-girlfriend to lis­ten in as he car­ried out his ram­page. These vic­tims were just in his vicin­ity when he com­mit­ted this ter­ri­ble tragedy.”

He was gunned down in a shootout with po­lice on Sun­day at the up­scale La Jolla Cross­roads apart­ment com­plex.

Less than an hour ear­lier, Selis had stood out from the crowd of about 35 as he sat alone in the pool area of the apart­ment com­plex.

He sat by the pool gate wear­ing a heavy black jacket on a hot day, said Demetrius Grif­fin, a guest at the party. The shoot­ing be­gan af­ter the man cel­e­brat­ing his 50th birth­day ap­proached Selis.

Grif­fin said his friend, who was al­ways wel­com­ing, had in­vited the man to join the fun. In­stead, he said, Selis pulled a gun from his waist­band and shot the party host twice in the torso.

Grif­fin froze and then dropped to the ground as six rounds sent peo­ple scat­ter­ing and dropped oth­ers on the pool deck.

Selis called his ex-girlfriend dur­ing the shoot­ing and told her that he had shot two peo­ple. The wo­man heard two more gun­shots be­fore the line went dead.

Selis, a fa­ther who worked as a Ford deal­er­ship me­chanic, had been de­pressed af­ter a breakup just days be­fore, though fam­ily and friends in­ter­viewed by po­lice had no hint of any sin­is­ter plot.

He filed for fed­eral bank­ruptcy pro­tec­tion in Oc­to­ber 2015, list­ing US$14,000 (RM60,500) in as­sets and US$108,000 in li­a­bil­i­ties. AP


In­ves­ti­ga­tors look­ing at the bloody crime scene at the apart­ment com­plex in San Diego on Mon­day af­ter Peter Selis (in­set) opened fire on a birth­day party.

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