SAN DIEGO — Authorities Monday arrested a man suspected of opening fire during a confrontation with a group of protesters outside of San Diego Mayor Todd Gloria’s home in Mission Hills.
The suspected gunman, Lonnie Crawford, faces multiple charges, including assault with a deadly weapon, illegal discharge of a firearm and making a deadly threat. In addition to being accused of firing his gun into the crowd of protesters, Crawford is also suspected of swerving toward some of the protesters with his truck.
“Some words were exchanged and the person driving that vehicle went to their residence and got a firearm and popped off a couple of rounds,” Police Sgt. Ariel Savage told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We got reports of one round, some say two.”
Activist Tasha Williamson organized the protest centered around improving rights for San Diego’s homeless population.
“The man yesterday shot because he thought he had that white privilege,” she said. “That he could go into his home, retrieve a gun for people who were peaceful, who were not armed, who had not damaged his property, his home. We’re not even trying to get to him.”
Williamson said she organized the protest outside of Gloria’s home after several failed attempts to set up a meeting with him.
“He has not protected Black lives,” she said. “He has not protected the rights of protesters’ lives at any step in his career as mayor.”
Protester Mandy Lien said that they showed up to Gloria’s house because “he sends law enforcement officers to the homeless population to their homes every single day.”
In a statement to FOX 5, the mayor reacted to Monday night’s events.
“All San Diegans have a constitutional right to peacefully assemble and protest without fear of being attacked or intimidated,” Gloria stated. “Last night’s protest at the apartment building where my family and I live turned violent when a man not associated with the protest senselessly fired a gun. I am grateful for our police department’s quick work that apprehended the suspect who is now in custody and facing multiple felony charges.”