A gunman despondent over a recent breakup opened fire at a poolside birthday party and phoned his ex-girlfriend as he kept shooting strangers, killing one woman and injuring six other partygoers before he was killed by officers, police said Monday. Peter Selis, 49, sat on a pool chair during most of the rampage, calmly shooting guests at the party with a .45-caliber handgun. Witnesses said Selis was wearing a black coat and sitting alone during the party for a man's 50th birthday Sunday at an apartment complex near the University of California, San Diego. At one point the guest of honor invited the man to join the party. That's when Selis drew a handgun and shot the honoree in the torso, said Demetrius Griffin, a friend at the party.
After shooting two people, Selis called his ex-girlfriend and said what he'd done and that police were there and then continued firing. "It is apparent that Selis wanted his ex-girlfriend to listen in as he carried out his rampage," police chief Shelley Zimmerman says. The victims were black and Latino and Selis was white, but police don't think race played a factor, the AP reports. "These victims were just in his vicinity when he committed this terrible tragedy," Zimmerman says. "What started as a celebration of a friend's birthday party turned into a tragedy of epic proportions." Selis and one of the partygoers lived at the complex in the diverse community north of downtown San Diego. Two victims remained in critical condition, but were expected to survive, Zimmerman said. Another man was taken to the hospital after he broke his arm running away.