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Gaslamp Quarter shooting witness: Victims had no chance to react

Posted at 12:13 PM, Apr 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-23 16:48:30-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A witness to Thursday night’s deadly shooting in the Gaslamp Quarter said the gunman looked to be “in a bad mood” before he pulled out a firearm.

Amid the chaos of the shooting, San Diego police officers were seen running to different scenes around Fifth Avenue to help any victims or to secure each location and look for witnesses.

One witness, Alex Kelly, described the demeanor of the shooter: "He was just walking by them, kind of in a bad mood, and it was kind of like a shoulder brush, and then right after that he was saying, ‘Well, you guys having a good time?’ And that's when he pulled out a gun and he started shooting."

RELATED: 1 dead, 4 injured in Gaslamp Quarter shooting

Kelly said the victims didn’t even have a chance to respond.

"They didn't have an attitude; before they even had a chance to react or say a word, that's when the guy pulled out the gun and started shooting," Kelly said.

While many who witnessed the gunfire ran away, there were some who decided to try and help get the gunman. An officer on a police scanner is heard saying: “It’s my understanding there were two bystanders that came and tackled him.”

The terrifying situation has left many like Kelly in shock.

"This one is kind of numbing because it could have been anybody, to be honest," Kelly said.

The son of one of the victims hospitalized, identified as a 68-year-old former La Jolla teacher who was shot in the stomach, spoke to ABC 10News later Friday morning, saying he's still trying to cope with everything that happened.

"I don't really know what to make of it all. That's insane that other people got shot and someone died," the son said, adding that his dad was in the Gaslamp Quarter to see him play in a concert.

"Things can change pretty quickly. But he's stable ... just hoping for the best and staying positive. Not trying to freak out," the son added.