Images caught on mobile phones may help catch the man responsible for firing shots in the Gaslamp Quarter, killing a woman while she was celebrating her 21st birthday.
Surveillance video taken about half a block from the site of the shooting 2 a.m. Sunday shows crowd running from the sound of gunfire.
Lakiesha Mason, 21, was one of three victims shot on 5th Avenue and E Street after a gunman opened fire on a large crowd, Lt Terry McManus said. A vacationer who was staying at a nearby hotel says she heard the rapid gunfire.
“We heard a lot of noise out on the street and we looked out and there was like hundreds of people on all four corners, you know just partying,” the witness said. “Then about five minutes later I heard like five gunshots.”
The witness, who asked to remain anonymous, described the sound as firecrackers.
“Then we heard all these people screaming and just running -- so I called 911 and it was on hold for a good 5 to 10 minutes,” she said. “It was horrible. It was horrific… it’s just a horrible thing to happen.”
Officers were flagged down -- when they arrived they found three victims with gunshot wounds.
The victims were taken to local trauma centers – Mason was pronounced dead at UCSD hospital at 2:30 a.m. Her family said Mason was married and an expectant mother. Friends on Twitter said she was celebrating her birthday.
“I was right there when it happened. She was smiling cause it was her birthday,” one tweet said. “Her smile and happiness is the last thing I remember too… I feel drained,” said another.
The other two victims, Richard Turner, 26, and a 34-year-old man, both underwent surgery. Turner’s family says he was shot five times.
Investigators are asking for the public's cooperation to help them find evidence.
“The on-going investigation has revealed that there may be potential witnesses who perhaps photographed portions of the events leading up to the shooting, via cell phone cameras,” McManus said.
The suspect is described as 21-years-old, 6'1", thin build with short hair and a medium complexion. He was wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and dark colored jeans.
Anyone with information should call the Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.