San Diego

'Broke My Heart': University City Mass Shooting Victim Knew Gunman

"The Pete that I remember was a great guy," Drew Phillips said. He said if he had a chance to approach Selis before the incident, maybe things would have turned out differently.

The victim of a shooting at a San Diego apartment complex said he worked with the gunman at a car dealership and remembers him as a nice guy.

“Broke my heart. I couldn’t believe it," Drew Phillips told NBC 7 in an interview Monday.

Phillips, 39, was attending a birthday pool party for a friend he has known for 15 years at the La Jolla Crossroads apartments in the University City neighborhood.

The gunman, identified as 49-year-old Peter Selis, opened fire at the party, killing one woman and injuring seven other people. 

Selis lived at the apartment complex but he was not a guest at the party.

Phillips said he was approximately 30 feet away from Selis with his back turned when he heard what he thought were fireworks for the party. But he quickly realized that the sounds were actually gunshots.

"Pete was over there, just firing into the crowd," Phillips recalled.

According to San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman, Selis called his ex-girlfriend after the shooting began because he wanted her to hear the rampage.

Investigators said Selis used his mobile phone to call his ex-girlfriend to tell her he had just shot two people and that police had arrived. He then stayed on the phone as he continued to fire his weapon into the crowd of partygoers and then, eventually, at police.

Phillips told NBC 7, he worked with Selis at Mossy Ford five years ago.

"If I had known it was Pete sitting there, I would have came and spoke to him...because the Pete that I remember was a great guy," Phillips said.

He said if he had a chance to approach Selis before the incident, maybe things would have turned out differently.

"If I went over there and maybe saw the gun on his lap...I probably would have been like 'Hey Pete, what are you doing? These are my friends. What are you doing,'" Phillips added. "Maybe that would’ve been enough to reel him off the edge."

The woman who was fatally injured in the shooting was later identified by friends as Monique Clark.

Phillips didn't identify Clark by name when talking to NBC 7 but he did say she was the "nicest person you ever met," noting she was the first person to greet him at the party.

"She just didn’t deserve it," he said.

Phillips said he jumped over the wall to escape during the shooting, but a friend who was behind him was shot.

Phillips believes that Selis did not aim for him, instead shooting at people on either side of him.

"And I'm a pretty big target," he said, adding that the odds were against him.

Phillips said once he got over the wall, he saw his injured friend lying on the ground. He administered first aid to the man until paramedics arrived on scene.

"I ain’t no hero. I did what anybody would’ve done," he said. "You see someone who needs help so you just help them."

He added that in the moment, he wasn't worried about what would happen to him and just wanted to help the other victim.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the victims to help with all of the medical costs.

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