SAN DIEGO — A man acting as a good Samaritan says he helped tackle the suspect accused of killing one man and wounding four others Thursday night in downtown San Diego.
“He probably would’ve emptied his clip on everyone else that was here,” Justin Larrabee said.
San Diego police say the suspect, 32-year-old Travis Sarreshteh, shot and killed a man at Fifth Avenue and J Street in a “completely unprovoked” attack before heading north on Fifth Avenue and opening fire on a group of men, injuring four of them.
That’s when Larrabee says he took action.
“I started to jog up the strip towards where everyone was saying, ‘He’s walking right there. He’s walking. He has a hood on,’” Larrabee said.
Larrabee says Sarresteh had the gun — described by police as a 9 mm unserialized firearm, also known as a ghost gun — in his waistband, so he decided to tackle him.
“I just grabbed around him and dipped him,” he said. “I think it kind of knocked him out and then another guy was putting work on him a little bit. I had his arms pinned to where he couldn’t move, really.”
San Diego police Chief David Nisleit on Friday acknowledged that two citizens “tackled and attempted to detain” Sarresteh until officers arrived. He said Sarresteh “violently resisted,” leading another person to jump in and help in his apprehension.
Sarresteh continued to struggle with police, prompting an officer to use a Taser on him, Nisleit. Police are attempting to determine the motive for the shooting.
Sarresteh now is jailed and charged on one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder.
“I’d like to thank the two citizens that had the heroics and the bravery to confront this person and actually tackle the suspect until officers arrived,” Nisleit said. He also extended gratitude to others including witnesses for providing statements, police and fire personnel and a medic who rendered aid to one of the victims in the second shooting.
Larrabee doesn’t know the identity of the other man who helped tackle the suspected shooter.
Despite injuring his thumb and elbow in the ordeal, he says he’s glad he helped prevent the shooter from killing anyone else.
“’Cause it was the right thing to do and I’m not really scared very much so,” he said. “I wanted to stop him from getting anybody else, really.”