Witnesses say racism was ruled out too early in mass shooting - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Witnesses say racism was ruled out too early in mass shooting

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) — Some of the witnesses to Sunday's deadly mass shooting at a University City apartment complex say police need to continue looking at all possible motives in the case - including racism. 

One woman died and several others were injured in the shooting rampage by 49-year-old Peter Selis who opened fire in the pool area of the complex while a birthday party was being held.

Most of the victims are African Americans.  

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Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman said there is no evidence has been found – including in searches of Selis' apartment - that race played a role.  

Zimmerman also said Wednesday the investigation into the shooting at the La Jolla Crossroads apartment complex is not over. 

"Our commitment is: we will continue to conduct a thorough investigation and we ask the public's help," Zimmerman said.  

On Tuesday, witnesses who were at the pool party, released video captured just minutes before the gunfire erupted. 

They urged the department not to rule out race as a possible motive. They said there were other white people in close proximity to where Selis was sitting that he didn't target. And said he also allowed two white women to leave the scene unharmed while he continued to shoot. 

"When we had our friend laying on the ground and we had another friend trying to tend to her and he directed our Caucasian friend not to aid the black woman on the ground, it leads you to believe there's something more at play here," said one of the witnesses.  

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"People are grieving," said Zimmerman. "People are trying to find answers to this terrible, senseless act of evil violence. We're trying to find those answers." 
Wednedsay, Councilmember Barbara Bry released a statement thanking the police department and emergency crews for their quick response to the situation.

She also wrote: 

The fact that almost all of the victims are people of color cannot be ignored. The survivors of this attack have spoken out and believe that people of color were targeted by the shooter. 

Chief Zimmerman urged the community to be patient but added: "We may never know what was in his mind."  

The department has also pointed out one of the shooting victims was white. 

Witnesses say they would like to meet with the department, with the chief to discuss the case. 

The lead investigator on the case said he is open to that.  

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