San Diego Police will be increasing police presence in the Gaslamp Quarter for the foreseeable future following a deadly shooting Thursday night.
According to San Diego police statistics, the department has seen a 70% percent increase in the number of shots fired calls this year compared to last. Chief Nisleit said the department has also seen a 50% increase in the number of shooting investigations in January and February 2021 compared to the same time last year. He also said there is a 169% increase in confiscated unserialized or "ghost" guns from 2020.
San Diego police say the deadly shooting in the city's downtown entertainment district could have been a lot worse. One man was killed and four others wounded in the city's Gaslamp Quarter Thursday night. Police Chief David Nisleit credited private citizens for tackling the gunman before police arrived. He says officers used a taser on the gunman and took him into custody. He identified him as a 32-year-old downtown resident, Travis Sarreshteh . The police chief says they believe it was an unprovoked and isolated incident.
Police say officers were called to Fifth Avenue and J Street at around 10:30 p.m. in response to 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. Police say 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. One witness told ABC 10News, “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.”
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 tasing him. Once subdued and in custody, he was taken to the hospital, according to police.