SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A man accused of shooting five people in the Gaslamp Quarter last week — one of whom died — pleaded not guilty Tuesday to an unrelated misdemeanor count of acting as a private patrol operator without a license.
Travis Fereydoun Sarreshteh, 32, of San Diego, is awaiting arraignment on charges stemming from last Thursday’s shootings, in which police allege he used an untraceable “ghost gun” to gun down the victims starting at about 10:30 p.m.
Sarreshteh, who remains in custody without bail, appeared virtually in an El Cajon courtroom Tuesday morning in a separate case charging him with a violation of Business & Professions Code.
No details were shared in court regarding the East County case. The criminal complaint charges Sarreshteh with committing the alleged offense on Nov. 28, 2017, while a co-defendant is charged with unlawfully operating a marijuana facility on the same date.
County jail records list a May 3 arraignment in the downtown shooting case, though his hearing may occur on a different date due to scheduling issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sarreshteh is accused of first shooting 28-year-old parking valet Justice Boldin in front of Pendry San Diego Hotel in the 500 block of J Street. After opening fire on Boldin, the shooter “began to walk away, but quickly turned and fired again at the victim,” Lt. Andra Brown said.
Boldin, an Ace Parking employee, died at the scene.
The assailant then walked off to the north, confronted a group of men in the 500 block of Fifth Avenue and shot each of them, according to the lieutenant.
Sarreshteh was then followed by other people who held him until officers arrived, Brown said. Officers arrested Sarreshteh on suspicion of murder and attempted murder following a struggle in which they shocked him with an electric stun gun, according to Brown.
Two of the surviving victims — Vincent Gazzani, 27, of Perrineville, New Jersey; and 68-year-old Steven Ely of San Diego — suffered gunshot wounds to their upper bodies and were hospitalized in stable condition, Brown said Monday.
The other two — Alexander Balis, a 26-year-old resident of Mullica Hill, New Jersey; and Jatil Kodati, 28, of Jersey City, New Jersey — were treated for gunshot wounds to their arms.
The group may have been fired on following “some kind of altercation,” according to Police Chief David Nisleit.
“We’re still trying to work exactly that out,” Nisleit told reporters on Friday. “Possibly somebody bumped into somebody and that caused an exchange of words.”
The suspect — who allegedly carried out the shootings with a so- called “ghost gun,” a non-commercial firearm lacking a serial number — refused to provide police with a statement following his arrest, according to Nisleit.
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