Spring Valley

Suspect lit fireworks before opening fire at Spring Valley party, injuring 5: Deputies

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is asking people with information about the shooting or possible cell phone footage or surveillance video in the area to reach out

NBC Universal, Inc. NBC 7’s Jeanette Quezada at the scene in Spring Valley, where multiple people were shot in a backyard on Nov. 18, 2023.

Authorities are asking for tips in connection with a shooting that injured multiple people in a backyard in Spring Valley over the weekend.

The incident happened shortly after 8 p.m. Saturday in the 9000 block of Ildica Street, according to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Witnesses told deputies that a birthday party was taking place at a house when they heard gunshots coming from the backyard.

Two women and three men, all between the ages of 26 and 36, were found with gunshot wounds. Four of them were taken to various hospitals for minor injuries, while a 26-year-old man was in critical condition, Sgt. Noah Zarnow from the sheriff’s Rancho San Diego substation said in a news release Sunday.

As of Monday night, three shooting victims have been released from the hospital. The two others remained in the hospital but are expected to live, Zarnow said.

Two teenage boys who were in the vicinity were taken to Rady Children's Hospital and treated for firework burn injuries. The sheriff's department said late Saturday night that they believe the shooter threw fireworks in their direction to mask the sound and divert attention from the shooter.

"Bullets don't have names on them, so even if you're aiming for a particular person, you could have someone innocent get hurt," a neighbor named Terrie said.

She was in her front room when shots rang out. She counted six rapid shots that sounded like they were from the same gun.

"I heard some gunshots and immediately grabbed my phone and called 911," she said.

No one has been taken into custody, SDSO said.

At this time, authorities believe this is an isolated incident and that there is no threat to the public.

Deputies, along with a sheriff's K-9 handler and helicopter, looked for possible suspects in the area, while officers established a perimeter around the area of the shooting.

People outside the crime scene, including residents, were not allowed in the area Saturday night until detectives said it no longer needed to be closed off. At around 9:30 p.m., more than 20 cars were waiting in line on Sweetwater Road and Ildica Street to be let inside the neighborhood. 

SDSO is working with several mutual aid agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, the San Diego Police Department and the National City Police Department.

The sheriff's department is asking people with information about the incident or possible cell phone footage or surveillance video in the area to call Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477. Tipsters can remain anonymous and be eligible for up to a $1,000 reward for details leading to an arrest.

This story will be updated with the latest information.

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