NewsLocal News


Chicken Charlie's cook caught in crossfire of shooting near Belmont Park

Chicken Charlie's cook caught in crossfire of shooting near Belmont Park
Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-30 20:50:35-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The parents of a shooting victim are in search of answers after four people were shot near Belmont Park Saturday night.

For Wendy and Mike Atkins, the call that filled them with dread came directly from their son.

"I almost dropped to my knees. I just felt the weight of the world sink down,” said Wendy Atkins.

“He goes, ‘Mike, I’ve been shot.’ I said ‘Oh my God,’” said Mike Atkins.

Their son, Tim Gauthier, 30, who works as a cook at Chicken Charlie's Belmont Park, got off work after 10 p.m. Saturday.

He and a co-worker were walking to their cars when chaos erupted.

“He goes, ‘A group of kids ran by me one way, and then they ran by me the other way, and then I felt like I was hit the leg with a bat,’” said Mike Atkins.

That pain was a gunshot to his right knee.

Police say it began with a fight between two groups of people near Mission Boulevard and Ventura Place.

Investigators say two men from the fight ran south, before turning back toward a crowd and firing shots, hitting four people, including Gauthier.

“He reached down, and there was all blood in his hands,” said Mike Atkins.

“He took two steps and collapsed,” said Wendy Atkins.

An ambulance rushed Gauthier to a hospital.

“They removed the bullet, They were able to put chip of his knee back in where it’s going to heal fully,” said Mike Atkins.

The other three victims are also expected to recover.

The shooting comes five weeks after another incident in the same location.

Police say a man got into argument with a group, before unloading four or five shots. The suspect took off, and police didn't find any victims.

For the Atkins family, the Belmont Park area is now associated with violence.

“We are concerned about him going back working there,” said Mike Atkins.

“It's fine during the day, but at night, you shouldn't be afraid to try to go home after working there,” said Wendy Atkins.

Police say after Saturday's shooting, the two male suspects, both in their 20s, took off heading east.

A Gofundme campaign has been set up to help Gauthier, who doesn't have insurance.