SAN DIEGO — A shooting spree in a popular nightlife district in San Diego on Thursday night left one person dead and four others injured.
According to San Diego police, officers were called to Fifth Avenue and J Street in the city’s Gaslamp Quarter at around 10:30 p.m. local time in response to reports of shots fired.
Police said a man walked up to someone near the valet station of the Pendry Hotel on J Street, exchanged words with the person and then shot him to death.
The gunman proceeded to an area near Fifth Avenue and Island Avenue, where he confronted a group of people standing outside and then opened fire, according to police. Four people in the group were struck by gunfire.
Witnesses said the gunman was purposely bumping into people and starting arguments.
“He was just walking by them, kind of in a bad mood and it was kind of like a shoulder brush, and then right after that he was saying, ‘You guys having a good time?’ And that's when he pulled out a gun and he started shooting,” one eyewitness said. “Before they even had a chance to react or say a word, that's when the guy pulled out the gun and started shooting."
Police said several witnesses chased the gunman as he fled on Fifth Avenue. Officers caught up to the shooter on Fifth Avenue and G Street and struggled with him before firing a stun gun him. Once subdued and in custody, the suspect was taken to the hospital, according to police.
Police confirmed they recovered a firearm at the scene.
Three of the victims were taken to the hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The fourth person was treated at the scene and released.
Police are trying to determine if the deceased shooting victim was a hotel employee.
The SDPD investigation spans multiple locations along Fifth Avenue, between J Street and Island Avenue. As of 6:30 a.m. local time, Fifth Avenue is closed between Island Avenue and J Street. Police also closed J Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues.
The scene in the Gaslamp Quarter was described as busy as restaurant capacity limits were recently increased when San Diego County had relaxed COVID-19 restrictions two weeks ago.
There was no game at nearby Petco Park, as the San Diego Padres were in Los Angeles Thursday night for the start of a four-game series against the Dodgers.
“We know that there’s a lot of people out here,” SDPD Lt. Andra Brown said. “It’s the Gaslamp; even though it’s not fully open and it’s a Thursday night, there were still probably a lot of people out here, so we know that there’s probably people that saw this and if anyone has information obviously we would like to hear from them."
This story was originally published by Mario Sevilla on Scripps station KGTV in San Diego.