Gunman opens fire at San Diego birthday pool party, killing 1, injuring 7

Police shot and killed suspected gunman Peter Selis, who they said was supposedly distraught over a recent break-up when he started shooting.
7:08 | 05/02/17

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Gunman opens fire at San Diego birthday pool party, killing 1, injuring 7
Tonight the dramatic tactical takedown of an alleged cold-blooded killer, caught on newly released video. The man had been firing at random on a group celebrating a birthday party in San Diego. Now new information about the suspect's possible motives and what police say may have led up to the deadly shooting. Here's ABC's Matt Gutman. Reporter: These are the final few moments of the murderous Sunday evening rampage at this San Diego pool. All of it caught on camera. Those two officers sprinting up. They take up positions and quickly, one with a shotgun, one with a handgun, they fire. Sfwa bystanders capturing police in a shootout with 49-year-old gunman Peter Selis. Officers swarm from two directions, securing the area and finding multiple casualties. Moments earlier Sunday evening police say that without warning he began blasting into a birthday party at the pool at this apartment complex. In one of the many videos that has surfaced you see Selis, feet up, casually on the lounge chair as he seems to reload his weapon. Then he points it at someone. Gunfire from his .45-caliber handgun sending survivors scrambling. Knocking deck chairs into the pool as they fled on a pool deck slippery with blood. Around the pool dozens of bystanders watched. Some even filmed as more shots rang out. I was just having a relaxing Sunday. Reporter: Is that where you live? That's where I live. Reporter: Kayla Wong says she was trapped in the jacuzzi as shots rang out. Did you hear him say anything else other than, you know, you can stay or you can leave? No. He said you can stay and die or you can leave. Reporter: By the end of the rampage police say one woman was killed and six others were left wounded. We literally saw people jumping out from the fences and running a like crazy. Reporter: Police say all of Selis's victims were people of color. Four black women, two black men, and one Latino man. But they say the shootout wasn't motivated by race. The victims just happened to be present at the moment in time when Selis decided to carry out this spontaneous act of violence. There is zero information to indicate that race played a factor in this terrible and horrific crime. Reporter: Today officials say it was a break-up between Selis and his girlfriend that may have triggered the rampage. This spontaneous act of violence. Reporter: Police say that as the shooting started Selis used the other hand to dial his girlfriend. Ziftical ica sadistically making her listen to the spray of bullets and the screams that followed. Family members described Selis as distraught and depressed over this break-up. Now, while they had no idea that he would resort to any kind of violence, let alone shooting at innocent victims, based on the information that we have gathered so far, investigators, it is very clear that Selis was despondent over the break-up of his girlfriend. Reporter: According to court documents, the 49-year-old gunman was a car mechanic who had been struggling financially for years, filing for bankruptcy in 2015. I heard about five to six gunshots and now people are screaming. Reporter: The chaos started just after 6:00 P.M. On Sunday. He's sitting in a lawn chair. He is telling people to leave. Reporter: 911 calls began pouring in as Selis started shooting into a crowd of some 30 people gathered for a birthday barbecue. Almost nobody thought that this was a gang-related shooting because this is an upscale apartment complex full of professionals where even a studio apartment can go for $2,0 $2,000. The barrage of bullets sent terrified partygoers running for their lives. Okay units, we've got three, two to three people down. 9045 judicial. The suspect is reloading his gun in the pool area. White male, 40. Reporter: Others fled, but Kayla and her friend said they felt they had no choice but to hunker down in the hot tub. Were you able to see any of the victims from where you were in the jacuzzi? Yeah, so I saw the woman lying face down on the floor with blood on her back. I saw another woman in a long black dress like all bloodied running out. I saw a man with a side wound, a side gunshot wound hopping over the fence. I think he felt. Reporter: Meanwhile, she says Selis kept sitting calmly in his lounge chair. He was very discreet. He didn't draw any attention to himself. I didn't see him walk in. He was just sitting under an umbrella in the corner in the shade. He had a beer in one hand and his gun in the other. I didn't even realize that he had a gun until he started shooting. In that moment we were kind of frozen and we didn't have the initial flight -- fight or flight reaction. So we just stayed in the jacuzzi for a little bit. Reporter: At around 6:13 the officers arrived on the scene with a chopper overhead. Directing the team on the ground, which confronted Selis. They may have already known about the kind of threat they faced. My first takeaway of hearing information about this shooter being relaxed, drinking a beer or otherwise not concerned about the damage or the carnage that he's yielding on these crowds is that he's cold-blooded, that he doesn't care about life, which ratcheted up the level for officers because someone like that will kill you just as soon as look at you. Reporter: The gunman continued to fire his weapon. Police say that when Selis raised his weapon at officers they fired. Well over a dozen shots. Shots fired. Suspect down. Shots fired. Suspect down. Reporter: Selis was pronounced dead at the scene. The night of terror finally over. Can sergeant tell them they're going to have a mass casualty. They're going to need to roll out a lot of ambulances here. Reporter: Medics tended to survivors as shocked residents continued to film. The incident so emotional some police officers were seen tearing up at the scene and other survivors huddled in prayer. Tonight, this community in la Jolla is reeling but healing could take some time. What, you know, started as a celebration of a friend's birthday party turned into a tragic -- a tragedy of just epic proportion. How are you coping now? I feel very numb. I don't think it's completely registered with me that I experienced something like that. I mean, it technically is considered a mass shooting, and to just think that I was there and I made it out safely is so incredibly scary and I'm just incredibly thankful for those who helped me out. And I'm so sorry to the victims, and I wish them the best. I wish their families the best. I hope them a quick and speedy recovery. Reporter: For "Nightline" I'm Matt Gutman in San Diego, California.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":47150087,"title":"Gunman opens fire at San Diego birthday pool party, killing 1, injuring 7","duration":"7:08","description":"Police shot and killed suspected gunman Peter Selis, who they said was supposedly distraught over a recent break-up when he started shooting.","url":"/Nightline/video/gunman-opens-fire-san-diego-birthday-pool-party-47150087","section":"Nightline","mediaType":"default"}