San Diego Police Investigating String Of Gel Pellet Gun Shootings Outside Hillcrest Bars As Possible Hate Crimes

May 20, 2024

The San Diego Police Department is investigating a string of incidents that occurred over the weekend, including four gel pellet gun attacks outside bars in San Diego's Hillcrest, as possible hate crimes.

Just before 1am this past Saturday, May 18, the San Diego Police Department received reports about a pellet gun being fired out of a vehicle at a business on University Avenue in Hillcrest. The vehicle is described as a newer, black sedan.

Upon further investigation by SDPD’s Western Division, they discovered four other shootings involving gel pellets that are believed to be related, including a man being hit by gel pellets while walking with his wife in Old Town. No injuries were sustained in that incident and police do not believe it to be hate-motivated. Also, a security guard was hit on the arm at The Rail bar, located on Fifth Avenue in Hillcrest, but no injuries were sustained. The vehicle also fired upon the bar, Number One Fifth Avenue, and there were also no injuries sustained as a result of this incident. The vehicle also fired upon Pecs Bar, located on University Ave., but no injuries were sustained.

The worse of the attacks occurred when three people were hit, including one employee hit in the eye, outside Rich’s Nightclub on University Avenue in Hillcrest. The security guard required minor surgery after the attack. Beside the Old Town incident, all the pellet gun attacks occurred outside LGBTQ+ friendly establishments in Hillcrest, a neighborhood known as the center of San Diego’s LGBT scene.

Following the incident, SDPD’s Western Division added additional patrol to the Hillcrest area and will continue those for the coming days. This investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call SDPD’s non-emergency line at 619-531-2000.