San Diego

Man Sentenced for Shooting, Killing Navy Pilot Outside Downtown Comedy Club

U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Celani was shot outside of a comedy club at Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego on June 10, 2017

A documented gang member will spend the next nine decades in prison for fatally shooting an active-duty U.S. Navy pilot and wounding another outside a downtown San Diego comedy club in 2017. 

Arrow Morris, 42, randomly shot U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. James Celani outside of Mad House Comedy Club at Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego on June 10, 2017. He also wounded a 29-year-old Riverside resident, who was shot in the leg. 

He was sentenced on Tuesday to a total of 126 years to life in prison.

Before the sentence was read on Tuesday, four people affected by the deadly shooting were scheduled to address Morris. 

Investigators say Morris was arguing with a woman outside the club when he grabbed the woman's purse and walked away.

As Morris walked away from the club, he bumped into the victims: Celani and his cousin and without provocation, he shot both victims, police said.

Celani, 43, was struck twice in the head and once in the chest and rushed to the UC San Diego Medical Center but was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Morris was arrested in Serra Mesa two days after the shooting. 

Celani was a Navy pilot who served 20 years in the military and worked with drone technology before his death. 

“He helped develop the curriculum and tactics we use on the battlefield. So a very integral part of Naval Special Warfare," former co-worker Ed Hiner said when he described the victim in a 2017 interview.

Photo of James Celani.

Morris also faces sentencing on three charges of felony in posession of a firearm. 

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