Gunshots ring out at carnival in Otay Mesa sending people running for their lives

Fight in parking lot descended into gunfire

OTAY MESA, Calif. - Carnival goers ran for their lives Saturday night after gunshots rang out at a fair held at Montgomery Waller Community Park near Otay Mesa. 

San Diego police Officer David Stafford said the shooting was reported at 8 p.m. in the parking lot of the carnival at Beyer Boulevard and Palm Avenue.

"There were several people involved in an argument in front of the fair," Stafford said. "During the argument gunshots were fired from an unknown person."

Hundreds of people were at the fair including many families with young children.

"It was very scary because there's a lot of little ones here -- a lot of littles ones," said Cristy Sanchez, of Chula Vista, as she held her young daughter in her arms. 

Sanchez said she joined dozens of other parents and headed for the rear area of the carnival in Montgomery Waller Park, away from the sound of the gunshots. 

"I was like just like, get us out of here, just get us out of here," she said.

Police said the trouble started when a large group of young men got into a fight in the front parking lot bordering Palm Avenue.  The fight descended into gunfire. 

Officers said at least two shots were fired. 

"We saw a whole bunch of people like just running to the back of the carnival and then we heard someone say 'there's someone shooting,'" said carnival goer Edward Garcia.

Police told 10News that a 62-year-old man was leaving the carnival with a 5-year-old girl when the shooting broke out.  officers said the man's car was hit twice by bullets.  He was so frightened that he hit another car as he sped away. 

"He actually drove over the grass and over the curb on Palm Avenue to get away," said San Diego police Lt. Paul Rorrison.

Rorrison said the man drove straight to the San Diego Police Department's southern substation for help. 

He wasn't injured, but he did have pain in his chest, so he was taken to an area hospital for observation. 

Fortunately, no one else was hit, but what began as a fun evening turned into something else entirely. 

"This is supposed to be a fun time, a fun night away from work and stress and you come here to de-stress and there you go.  The stress comes back," Sanchez said.

Police said they were looking into the possibility that the fight and shooting were gang-related.

Sunday is the last scheduled day for the carnival.

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