SAN DIEGO – A pair of shootings in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter by the same suspected gunman left one man dead and four others wounded late Thursday, police said.
The first shooting was reported at 10:30 p.m. at Fifth Avenue and J Street. When officers arrived, they found a 28-year-old man on the sidewalk with a gunshot wound to his upper body, San Diego police homicide Lt. Andra Brown said. They began providing medical aid while waiting for medics, but the victim died at the scene.
The victim was standing on the sidewalk in the 500 block of J Street when he was shot, Brown said.
The suspected gunman, whom police identified Friday as 32-year-old Travis Sarreshteh, started to walk away before turning and firing again at the victim. Police initially believed the two men exchanged words, but SDPD Chief David Nisleit later said it was “completely unprovoked.”
Sarreshteh then headed north on Fifth Avenue, confronted a group of men — possibly after somebody had bumped into somebody else, according to Nisleit — and opened fire again, injuring four of them. He continued walking and was followed by people who attempted to stop him as officers arrived.
Witnesses say a group grabbed the man and tried to hold him until police made it to the area. The suspect then struggled with officers, prompting one of them to use his Taser, Brown said.
Officers finally took Sarreshteh into custody and recovered a 9 mm unserialized firearm, also known as a ghost gun, Nisleit said. Sarreshteh was taken to the hospital with various injuries.
According to Nisleit, Sarreshteh lives in downtown San Diego not far from where the shootings took place and is not believed to be a homeless person. He was not previously known to officers, but he does have a criminal history, Nisleit said.
It remains unclear how many shots were fired in the incident, though Nisleit said it is “likely more than six.” Police also are attempting to determine Sarreshteh’s motive in the shooting.
“That’s something we’re still working on,” Nisleit said. “Unfortunately, I generally won’t go into what the suspect stated, but in this case, he’s not talking to us. He invoked so he’s not going to give us that.”
A 68-year-old man who was shot in his torso, a 28-year-old man who was shot in his arm and a 27-year-old man with gunshot wounds to his upper body were all taken to a hospital to be treated. A 28-year-old man was treated at the scene for a gunshot injury to his arm.
At the scene of the shooting Friday morning, a man told FOX 5 that he was the older victim’s son. He is a musician who was making a long-awaited return to the stage after the pandemic canceled most live events, and his father had come to the Gaslamp from his San Diego home to see him play a show for the first time in years.
“He’s a retired school teacher — a surfer from La Jolla — and he’s tough as nails, so I think he’ll be alright. But I don’t really know what to make of it all,” he told FOX 5. “I drove down here from L.A. to play. My dad, coming out, hadn’t seen me play in three years … And apparently this happens. Pretty surreal.”
The man, who did not want to publicly identify himself, said he only learned about the shooting Friday morning when he woke up to missed calls from family. His father remained in recovery at the hospital.