San Diego Gunman Called Ex-Girlfriend So She Could 'Listen In' on Pool Shooting: Police - NBC New York
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San Diego Gunman Called Ex-Girlfriend So She Could 'Listen In' on Pool Shooting: Police

Moments before officers arrived, Selis, "took out a cell phone and he called his ex-girlfriend"

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    Eight people were shot near the complex's pool area, police say. (Published Monday, May 1, 2017)

    The gunman involved in a mass shooting in San Diego called his ex-girlfriend after shooting two people so she could "listen in as he carried out his rampage," San Diego's police chief said Monday. 

    Peter Selis, 49, opened fire at a poolside birthday party at an apartment complex near the University of California-San Diego Sunday, killing one woman and injuring six other partygoers before he was shot and killed by officers.

    San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said Selis was despondent over a recent breakup with a girlfriend.

    Moments before officers arrived, Selis, "took out a cell phone and he called his ex-girlfriend,” Zimmerman said. “Selis told his ex-girlfriend that he had just shot two people and that police had arrived on the scene.”

    Zimmerman said Selis stayed on the phone with his ex-girlfriend as the shooting continued. 

    Witnesses said Selis was wearing a black coat and sitting alone during the party for a man's 50th birthday.

    At one point the guest of honor invited the man to join the party. That's when Selis drew a .45-caliber handgun and shot the honoree in the torso, said Demetrius Griffin, a friend at the party.

    "He didn't stand up. He sat the whole time. Even when he reloaded his magazine, he sat in his chair," said Griffin. "It was very eerie, to say the least. He didn't stand up. He didn't say anything. He just opened fire."

    A police helicopter arrived first, and the pilot reported seeing multiple victims on the ground and that Selis appeared to be reloading in the pool area, the police chief said.

    Three officers arrived and shot Selis after he pointed a handgun at them, she said.

    Selis and one of the partygoers lived at the complex in the community north of downtown San Diego.

    Selis, a father who worked as a mechanic at a Ford dealership, filed for federal bankruptcy protection in October 2015, listing $14,000 in assets and $108,000 in liabilities, according to court records.

    "This is truly a horrific act of violence," San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer said at a news conference. "Our entire city, all of our thoughts and prayers, all San Diegans' thoughts and prayers, are with the victims and their families tonight."