Shooting survivors: Gunman targeted us

Posted at 11:27 PM, May 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-03 12:39:22-04

Party goers who survived the University City poolside mass shooting believe they were targeted, in part, because of their race.

“This man came downstairs with a goal, I believe, and he already made a decision on what he was going to do. And I think that’s what hurts me the most, because we were celebrating a birthday,” Mychal Gary said.

Police said Peter Selis was upset over a breakup and debt and they had no evidence this was a hate crime.

RELATED: One dead, multiple victims wounded in University City mass shooting

“It explains a part of why this took place as far as his relationship and his financial struggles, but I still think we were a targeted group,” Lauren Chapman said at a press conference Tuesday afternoon. “I do feel that it’s being portrayed that this was out of passion that he was a hurt person and I don’t want him to become the victim because of him becoming emotional and making a decision that changed multiple people’s lives."

Gary said Selis came in and sat down, and stared at the group.

“Kion, who is my roommate, offered (Selis) a drink," Gary said. "There was no animosity. There was no type of negativity. This man didn’t speak to us."

The victims at the press conference said Selis shot Kion Gould first. It was his birthday party.

Video shows Selis casually lounging in a pool chair while shooting at others.

“Our group was chosen that day and it’s very hard to look past the makeup of what our group was,” Gary said.

Monique Clark, 35, a mother of three from Eastlake, was killed.

RELATED: Memorials planned for pool shooting victims

“When we had our friend on the ground and we had a friend trying to tend to her. He directed our Caucasian friend not to aid the black woman lying on the ground,” Chapman said.

“Our other friend who happens to not be black or Hispanic as well, she was allowed to leave. Two women were pardoned,” Chapman said.

Police said five of the people shot were African American, one was Hispanic and one was Caucasian.

“He may not have known exactly why he felt that way he did towards our group, why we were selected and not the young ladies sun tanning, or why my friend was pardoned," Chapman said. "But there is a lot more depth here than people want to acknowledge, because it’s very ugly."

Police said the investigation is far from over.