They came to San Diego to attend a business conference but wound up victims of violent crime, through no fault of their own.
Two North Carolina employees of the Preiss Company, which manages large apartment complexes, were rushed to the hospital Friday night after they were shot by bullets not intended for them.
The women had attended “Apartmentalize,” a conference hosted by the National Apartment Association, before spending some time in the Gaslamp Quarter.
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San Diego police say two groups of people were fighting at the intersection of 5th Avenue and F Street when someone in one of the groups pulled a gun and fired. The bullet first struck Toni Yrlas in the hand, then passed through the torso of her friend and co-worker, Lane Sheer.
Sheer’s injuries are serious., according to a spokesperson for the Preiss Company, who told NBC 7 she was still in the hospital Monday, her family at her side. Yrlas was released from the hospital and is said to be recovering at home.
The Preiss Company sent NBC 7 this statement:
“Our Preiss Company family is saddened by the senseless gun violence that severely injured two of our own while attending an industry conference in San Diego. Both Lane and Toni are long-standing Preiss Company employees and are well loved throughout our company, our local community, and the multifamily industry as a whole. The outpouring of support shown by those in our industry has been nothing short of tremendous. Lane, Toni, and their families are extremely grateful to all of those that have donated and provided encouragement in this extremely sensitive time. The Preiss Company remains committed to supporting both Lane and Toni in whatever way possible. Additional information will be provided at a later date as Lane and Toni and their families see fit.”
Much of that support came from donations to a GoFundMe page set up by a co-worker. Over $100,000 has been pledged to help the woman pay for medical expenses and transportation home.
NBC 7 also reached out to the National Apartment Association, which provided this statement from President & CEO Robert Pinnegar:
“The National Apartment Association (NAA) is aware of the tragic shooting that occurred after our conference ended in the Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego on June 24, 2022. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims. As we await results from the investigation underway with the San Diego Police Department, NAA leadership is conferring with our state and local associations to best determine how we can assist the victims.”
According to a store owner who did not want to be named, San Diego police located surveillance video that may show the gunman as he made his escape. San Diego Police did not confirm that for us. Nor did they report any arrest in the case.