SAN DIEGO -- An Escondido man who pulled out a gun and fired two shots in the air when he couldn't get a ticket to a sold-out Ice Cube concert at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, prompting a sheriff's deputy to shoot him four times, pleaded guilty Wednesday to discharging a firearm in a grossly negligent manner.
Daniel Elizarraras, 22, faces three years in prison when he is sentenced March 4. A charge of assault on a peace officer with a semi-automatic weapon was dismissed as part of the plea.
Elizarraras had faced up to 19 years behind bars, said Deputy District Attorney David McNees. The defendant pleaded guilty on the day his preliminary hearing was scheduled to begin.
Prior to the shooting last Sept. 2, fairgrounds officials had determined that the venue was at capacity and turned people away from the horse races and the concert by the rapper Ice Cube.
Fights broke out between security guards and would-be concert-goers who were upset that they weren't going to be allowed into the show, witnesses said.
Sheriff's Deputy Tyler Eikermann -- an 11-year veteran of the department -- saw Elizarraras raise a silver-colored firearm and shoot into the air in a large crowd by a ticket booth, prompting the deputy to pull out his Taser, but it was ineffective, authorities said.
Eikermann pulled out his firearm and shot Elizarraras four times when the defendant lower his right hand and pointed his semi-automatic weapon at the deputy, according to prosecutors.
Elizarraras was hit three times in the torso and once in the arm. One bullet is still lodged near the defendant's spine, McNees said.