Manhunt Under Way for Gunman After Crime Spree


A National City man is fighting for his life after being shot during an overnight carjacking. Two hours later, police believe his assailants robbed three tourists at gunpoint in Ocean Beach.

The carjacking occurred in the 300 block of J Street in National City. The armed robbery, in the 4900 block of Ocean Beach.

Police said the carjacked vehicle is a gray, four-door 2004 Toyota Carolla with California license plate 5HLJ716, according to police.

Officers in National City and San Diego caution anyone who sees it to beware of whoever's in the car or nearby. If they're the suspects in question, they're dangerous and trigger-happy.

"The victim who got shot was actually screaming for help," said Mary Petersen, who lives in the neighborhood. "He had like, he was -- it was sad. It was scary to know something like this would happen here, because this is a gated community, so you wouldn't think anything would happen."

The carjacking took place a little after after 1 a.m. in the back of an entry-controlled parking lot outside the apartments.

"It's crazy, actually," said another neighbor. "Especially since they're going all over the place. Obviously they've had it planned. They know what they're up to, so take care."

Sean Simpson, who had just celebrated his 26th birthday at a bar, was shot five times in the back in what appears to have been a carjacking by two men. About two hours later, three Irish women in their mid-20s were robbed at gunpoint outside the Ocean Beach International hostel, giving up their bags with their passports, cellphones and wallets inside.

"One pointed a gun at the females -- in fact, pressing it up against her face -- demanded her bag," said San Diego police Lt. Andrea Brown. "She initially thought it was a joke and did not comply. When he pushed it into her [cheek] and used more harsh language, she got the picture and complied with his request."
The description the women provided to police of the robbers and their vehicle matched those from the National City shooting.
At least the women didn't wind up like Sean Simpson.

"This is a very brutal, vicious and senseless act," said National City police Sgt. Mike Harlan. "And that's why we have full resources from National City PD and San Diego PD to bring these guys into custody as soon as possible."

Police are analyzing surveillance video from cameras outside the Ocean Beach hostel. Investigators said both of the suspects are black, and that one of the hoodie-wearing men was described as short while the other was about 6 feet 2 inches tall. They were both wearing bandannas during the crime spree.

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