San Diego police are continuing the investigation regarding the La Jolla pool party shooting.
The new information raises some questions on whether Peter Selis’ attack was a racially motivated one.
It seems that during the shooting, Selis allegedly told a white guest that they have the opportunity of making a choice: “You can either leave or you can stay here and die.”.
Last Sunday, Selis started shooting guests at a party while he was sitting on a patio chair holding a beer in his hand.
His insane attack resulted in the death of Monique Clark and also injured six more people.
Although San Diego Police first reported that all the victims were Hispanic or Black, now they seem to have revised their statements reporting that one of the victims was a white female.
“We have zero information that this was racially motivated”, said Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman on Monday at a news conference.
On the other hand, the police claimed that Selis’ actions have really been motivated by a breakup. Reportedly, during the firing, Selis has phoned his ex-girlfriend to inform her of what he was doing.
Chief Zimmerman believes that Selis’ whole attack was a “spontaneous act of violence”.
However, there are more new testimonies that urge police to consider race as a motivating issue in this case.
20-year-old UC San Diego student Kaela Wong was hidden near the hot tub at the moment when Selis threatened a white woman who attempted to help one of the injured people. In an interview with Los Angeles Times, she admits hearing Selis tell that woman that she could either leave or stay there and die too.
The police department refused to consider this as a hate crime and the fact infuriated lots of activists.
“The reason why people are speculating a hate crime in the community is because this is a 49-year-old white male who walks into a pool area, a gathering with mostly Black people, in a mostly white community in San Diego,” Rev. Shane Harris of the San Diego chapter of the National Action Network confessed to the San Diego Tribune.
Meanwhile, Selis’ family has released an official statement with their condolences for the victims’ families and also denying that the whole attack had racist roots:
“Our family feels the unbearable pain caused by Pete’s senseless acts. We cannot understand what would have caused Pete to do this. Words cannot express our profound grief and sorrow for all the victims and their families. On behalf of our family, we are so sorry that this happened. We ask that you please respect our privacy. We will miss our beloved Pete forever.”