‘Tough as nails’: Retired teacher among Gaslamp shooting victims, son says

Local

SAN DIEGO — One of the victims wounded Thursday in a shooting in downtown San Diego is a retired school teacher who was in the Gaslamp Quarter to watch his son play music, the son told FOX 5.

The musician said he 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.

The 68-year-old man shot in his torso was one of four men wounded when a shooter opened fire on the group on Fifth Avenue, San Diego police homicide Lt. Andra Brown said. That shooting occurred after a previous shooting at Fifth Avenue and J Street that left a 28-year-old man dead.

The suspect was followed by people who attempted to stop him as officers arrived. Witnesses say a group tackled the man and didn’t let him go until police made it to the area.

The 32-year-old suspect then struggled with officers, prompting one of them to use his Taser, Brown said. Officers finally took the suspected shooter into custody and recovered a firearm. He was taken to the hospital with various injuries.

“There were a lot of witnesses around that did follow and actually contacted the male,” Lt. Brown said. “I believe that there were some other injuries as a result of the struggle with the citizens.”

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