Police have released for the first time a piece of evidence that could lead authorities to who is behind dozens of BB gun shootings targeting businesses and people in San Diego County.
A surveillance image was shared Monday by the Coronado Police Department showing a sedan believed to be connected to 23 BB gun incidents in Coronado.
CPD is working with other agencies in San Diego County to investigate about four dozen incidents over the past month. Pedestrians, drivers, passengers in ride-sharing cars, businesses, and homes have all become targets as an apparent trend of BB gun attacks grows in San Diego -- from Ocean Beach to La Mesa to Chula Vista.
In Hillcrest, a café, a print shop, and a scooter store each had their windows shot out by apparent BB pellets at the start of July, police said.
After July 3, passersby noticed one of the storefront windows at the Glass Corner Café spiderwebbed, starting in the lower right-hand corner. The café had just held its grand opening one week prior.
And within 10 blocks, Mayer Reprographics and Main Street Scooters of San Diego also needed to board up their storefront windows with plywood to cover the shattered glass.
Police say they are only investigating the vandalism at the scooter shop because it's the only complaint they've received so far.
“If it was an intentional crime, if it was a hate crime, it's sad. I think people should be left alone and just let them live their lives. It is what it is. You live yours, let them live theirs,” said café owner Samir Hanoosh.
In the Midway District, an occupied Lyft car and several businesses were shot at on July 6, according to police.
The shootings occurred at around 11 p.m., and police said there were no injuries.
A Lyft driver was chauffeuring two people when the BB pellets struck the car near Nimitz and Sunset Cliffs boulevards, officers said.
The windows at a Chili's Grill & Bar, located on Sports Arena Boulevard, and a Vespa Motorsport and an A-1 Storage building, both located on Pacific Highway, were shot out, police said.
Wooden boards could be seen covering the broken windows at these two locations the next morning.
“It’s terrible that someone is going around doing all this stuff,” said Vespa Motorsport owners Monica and Alex Cohn. “It’s a complete waste.”
The owners said it wasn’t the first time something like this had happened. They said someone opened fire on the business on July 1, shattering a window.
In the College Area, a driver and four businesses were attacked by a BB gun on July 7, police said.
Ismail Mohamad was driving his Kia Sorrento down El Cajon Boulevard when his rear driver’s side window shattered into several pieces. The BB pellets just missed Mohamad, officers said.
“At the time I thought it was a real gunshot -- someone close by. Something hit the car real hard,” Mohamad told NBC 7. “I thought another shot was going to come in, so I ducked down. It was a really scary time.”
Quality Appliances, Bond’s Automotive and Collision, Lazy Hummingbird Coffee and Acai, and the Griflos Biomat USA Plasma Center were also hit by a BB gun, police said.
The property manager of Quality Appliances said it wasn’t the first time his store was attacked with pellets.
“Well, I was angry because it keeps happening,” said property manager Godfrey Quiachon. “It’s not the first time as you can see behind me, every one of them has been boarded up.”
Reports of BB gun shootings also came from downtown when, on July 21, two pedestrians were injured and broken car windows were spotted in the area.
The shooting suspect was reportedly inside a white sedan and was said to be shooting from the back seat, according to police.
In Paradise Hills, seven vehicles had their windows shot out by BB pellets along Reo Terrace on July 21, police said.
Residents said only one side of the street had damaged cars.
“I took my Doberman, and her and I came out and we walked the streets and saw what was broken. They didn't touch any of our property," said Belda Smith, a resident of Paradise Hills.
In National City, a Ria Money Transfer building, four vehicles, and one home were targets of BB gun attacks, police said.
The shooting at the store took place on July 20, officers said, and the others were reported on July 21.
Glass shards were scattered all over the storefront of the Ria Money Transfer building, and a sign had fallen. Inside, glass chunks could be seen on multiple chairs and along the floor.
In Coronado, police reported 22 incidents involving a BB gun on July 21. A business and 22 vehicles were struck within a one-hour timespan. Coronado police released a surveillave image of the car believed to be involved.
In Chula Vista, a couple said an angry Lyft driver vandalized their home by allegedly shooting pellets at the property after a ride cut short.
Over Memorial Day Weekend, a husband and wife ordered the car from the ride-sharing app after a night out in Hillcrest. The husband was intoxicated, which the wife said appeared to bother the driver who began driving erratically.
"My husband wasn't belligerent or talking at him. He was just taking a nap," said the woman. She and her husband did not want to be identified.
She said the Lyft driver refused to slow down or pull over, and her husband got sick and vomited in his own lap.
“(He) says, ‘Did you just puke in my car?’ And then immediately just starts driving like a crazy person,” said the woman.
“I need you to pull over. You need to let us out of this car or I’m going to have to call 911,” she demanded.
The driver finally stopped and let them out near a highway and they walked to a place with better reception to call another Lyft driver. But then, the couple said their Lyft receipt showed the driver on his way to their Chula Vista home.
When they got there, they found a pellet-sized hole in their living room window. The couple says their security cameras caught a driver in a vehicle that matched their first driver’s car pull up to their home, raise a pellet gun, and fire. They've felt unsafe ever since.
Police will continue to investigate if the BB gun attacks are related or any possible suspects behind the crimes.