SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- In the aftermath of Thursday's deadly shooting, San Diego Police will be increasing police presence in the Gaslamp Quarter for the foreseeable future.
Thursday night, a senseless tragedy unfolded in one of San Diego's most popular social settings.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the families and to the businesses that were directly impacted, the Pendry Hotel and ACE Parking," Gaslamp Quarter Association Executive Director Michael Trimble said.
Trimble said it was heartbreaking to see his area be the backdrop of another violent incident.
- 1 dead, 4 injured in Gaslamp Quarter shooting
- Gaslamp Quarter shooting witness: Victims had no chance to react
- After Gaslamp Quarter shooting, SDPD Chief says 'ghost guns' are up 169% since 2020
According to San Diego police statistics, the department has seen a 70% percent increase in the number of shots fired calls this year compared to last. Police Chief David Nisleit said the department has also seen a 50% increase in the number of shooting investigations in January and February 2021 compared to the same time last year. He also said there is a 169% increase in confiscated unserialized or "ghost" guns from 2020.
ABC 10News looked at our archives and found at least ten violent incidents in the downtown area since the beginning of the year.
Some include the January 31 shooting death of an 18-year-old at the Days Inn on Ash Street. On February 25, there was an officer-involved shooting at Horton Plaza. On March 1, there was another officer-involved shooting where a stray bullet hit a pedestrian. On April 7, an innocent man's hand was nearly severed by a machete when he tried to break up a fight. On April 12, a cross-town chase turned into a deadly SWAT standoff at San Diego High School.
"You can't really put your finger on why last night happened," Trimble said.
Trimble said despite these incidents, he hopes it does not deter folks from visiting the historic Gaslamp Quarter. The association is in talks with the mayor's office and the police department to set up permanent bollards for outdoor diners and to increase patrols.
"Knowing we have private security at the businesses, you have security that the Association employs, and then you have the police department, so really, everyone is looking out for our visitors coming to the Gaslamp," said Trimble.
Trimble said the association is working with the District Attorney's Office to offer grief counseling and crisis management services to visitors and member businesses. Contact the DA's Victim Witness Assistance Program at 619-531-4041.