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4 people shot near Belmont Park in Mission Beach, suspects at large

Witnesses described taking cover, hearing screams and smelling gun smoke.

SAN DIEGO — Three men and a woman were wounded in a shooting near Belmont Park at Mission Beach, police said Sunday.

The shooting happened at 10:11 p.m. Saturday in the 3100 block of Mission Boulevard after a fight broke out between two groups of people at the intersection of Ventura Place and Mission Boulevard, said Officer Robert Heims of the San Diego Police Department. The fight started as a verbal argument and escalated to a physical fight, according to police.

Two men ran a short distance from the fight southbound on Mission Boulevard before turning back toward the crowd and firing multiple shots, Heims said.

"One of the males fired several shots," the officer said. "There were four victims that were shot."

The shootings appeared to be unrelated to the original fight, police said.

People working nearby spoke with News 8 about what they witnessed.

"Shots were close enough that you can smell gun smoke," said Chris Thomas, a cashier at Harry's Market in Mission Beach. 

Thomas was working when he saw the chaotic scene Saturday night.

"They were running back and that’s when I heard gunshots. People were lying on the ground," said Thomas.

Other Mission Beach bar and restaurant workers nearby also said they saw and heard the incident.

"We heard a couple gunshots. A bunch of people running in every direction," said Samson Atuatasi, a worker at Sandbar.

"All of a sudden, I saw people running. They said they heard a shot down there. People were panicking. It's crazy," said Mike Soltan, owner of Kojack's Greek and American. 

"It's very unsafe. We walk the corner every day to get to our cars to get home so it's an uneasy feeling for sure," said Atuatasi.

"I took cover in a taco shop. Me and a family bundled up together," said Thomas.

Investigators found: a 21-year-old woman shot in the left thigh; a 19-year-old man hit in the right rib cage; a 30-year-old man shot in the right knee; and a 20-year-old man shot the left calf.

All victims were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and were expected to recover, Heims said.

"There was one guy they had hooked up to an I.V. and taken in an ambulance. I saw four guys carrying an injured person and then take him to the hospital," said Thomas.

After the shooting, the two male suspects, both in their 20s, ran eastbound across 3100 Mission Boulevard into Bonita Cove Park. They remained at large as of Sunday. 

"I'm glad no one died, but the fact they are still out there is uneasy," said Atuatasi.

Northern Division detectives were investigating the incident.

Anyone with information related to the incident is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.