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Man sentenced to three years for opening fire at Del Mar fairgrounds before Ice Cube concert

Posted at 1:32 PM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 21:25:22-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- An Escondido man who pleaded guilty to firing several rounds into the air in a crowded area when he couldn't get tickets to an Ice Cube concert was sentenced to three years behind bars Wednesday.

Daniel Elizarraras, 22, pleaded guilty to discharging a gun at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in early September of 2018.

Authorities say Elizarraras raised the gun before shooting into the air while he was in a large crowd near the ticket booth. Elizarraras was shot three times in the torso and once in the arm after he pointed the gun at a deputy.

RELATED: Man admits he opened fire before Ice Cube concert at Del Mar Fairgrounds

Elizarraras was facing up to 19 years behind bars, but a charge of assault on a peace officer with a semi-automatic weapon was dismissed as part of his plea.

Defense Attorney Pedro Bernal said Elizarraras was severely depressed and trying to kill himself by suicide by cop. They asked for a lower sentence.

However, the prosecution said he acted violently, causing chaos, and the situation could have been much worse.

Judge Kathleen Lewis agreed saying, "I think it’s amazing that no one was injured or killed in this circumstance.”

Before the shooting, officials said the venue was at capacity and began turning people away from the horse races and concert.

Fights erupted between security guards and would-be concert-goers who were upset that they wouldn’t be allowed into the show.

RELATED: Rapper Ice Cube responds to pre-concert shooting at Del Mar Fairgrounds in San Diego County

Deputy Tyler Eikermann saw Elizarraras raise a silver-colored firearm and shoot into the air in a large crowd by a ticket booth. That’s when the deputy pulled out his Taser, which was ineffective.

Authorities say Eikermann pulled out his gun and shot Elizarraras four times.

City News Service contributed to this report.