Pool Shooting Rampage: Civil rights group raises questions over - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Pool Shooting Rampage: Civil rights group raises questions over motive

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SPRING VALLEY (CBS 8) - Members of a civil rights organization and local religious leaders will meet in Spring Valley Tuesday to pray for the families of the victims of a mass shooting at an University City apartment complex and to call attention to an allegation that authorities rushed to judgment in determining the rampage was not racially motivated.
   
The National Action Network San Diego Chapter, its president, the Rev. Shane Harris, and other members of the clergy will host an 11 a.m. news conference in which they will plan to publicly question "The investigation only going 24 hours before police chief Shelley Zimmerman coming down to confirmation that hate was not involved in the crime.''

"The community still questions the crime and believes there is more to the story,'' according to a National Action Network San Diego Chapter statement.
   
Though five of the victims shot at a birthday pool party at the complex on Judicial Drive just after 6 p.m. Sunday were black, including the woman who was killed, and one was Hispanic, authorities do not believe the rampage by the white gunman, Peter Raymond Selis, 49, was an ethnicity-based hate crime, Zimmerman said Monday. One of the surviving victims also is white.

RELATED: Video captured scanner traffic during height of mass shooting
   
Authorities have withheld the victims' names, but the slain woman was identified by friends as Monique Clark of San Diego. A witness told CBS News 8 there could be more involved. 

"What's really disturbing to me is the fact that during our conversation Maestro said it looks like this person doesn't like black people," Demetrius Griffin said.

VIDEO: Friends of mass shooting victims speak to media
   
"There is zero information to indicate that race played a factor in this terrible and horrific crime,'' Zimmerman said. "The victims were targeted for no other reason but their mere presence in the vicinity of the (shooting).''
   
Selis was apparently upset over a breakup days before and was believed to have targeted his victims randomly, authorities said. He fired a large-caliber handgun into a crowd while sitting in a lounge chair holding a beer and speaking to the woman on his cellphone.
   
"It is apparent that Selis wanted his ex-girlfriend to listen in as he carried out his rampage,'' the chief said.
   
When officers arrived at the La Jolla Crossroads apartment complex, Selis fired in the direction of one of them, prompting three of the personnel to return fire, according to the SDPD He died at the scene.
   
Alliance San Diego, a social-justice advocacy organization, has also suggested that police officials might have been premature in their determination of a motive for the shooting rampage.
   
"We are concerned that even before an investigation has concluded, and despite evidence that the killer appeared to target black and Latino residents and let others leave, San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman has come to her own conclusions,'' the group asserted in a statement Monday.
   
People of color "Need to know that law enforcement agencies are here to serve and protect all people,'' Alliance San Diego stated, adding that its members "Call on Chief Zimmerman to conduct a thorough and complete investigation into the incident, including the possibility that the killer acted with racial animus.''

A special GoFundMe campaign for Monique Clark's funeral expenses and the mounting medical bills of the survivors has been set up.

A prayer service to honor the victims will be held Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 at the First Baptist Church of San Diego at 5055 Governor Drive. It is open to the public.

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