Shooting at San Diego shelter highlights rise in violence against homeless people

On Saturday, January 14, a drive-by gunman fired numerous shots at a homeless shelter in downtown San Diego, California, operated by the nonprofit organization Alpha Project. About 100 people were in the large tent facility at the time of the shooting, which occurred shortly before 11:45 p.m. Fortunately, there were no fatalities or injuries, but the shelter was damaged.

A homeless camp on a street in downtown Los Angeles. [AP Photo/Richard Vogel]

According to San Diego Police Officer Lieutenant Adam Sharki, the case is under investigation and detectives are looking for witnesses and evidence.

The assailant fired at least seven shots with bullet holes found in panels covering a street-facing chain link, one of which hit the air conditioning unit and caused a leak, and more bullet holes were found in a large aluminum duct on the south side of the building. asylum. exterior walls. Police confirmed that a bullet had almost passed through the wall of the bomb shelter, where it could have hit a person.

While the incident is being investigated, there is every reason to believe that the violent act was a hate crime against the city’s growing homeless population. A December 2022 survey by the Downtown San Diego Partnership found that 1,839 people were sleeping either on the street or in their cars in the downtown area, up from 1,706 the previous month.

This month’s shooting was the second targeting the Alpha Project in five years since the shelter opened in downtown San Diego.

In December 2019, a little over a month after opening, a shooting resulted in the death of a guard just outside the shelter’s walls. At the time of the 2019 incident, Bob McElroy, president and CEO of the Alpha Project, told the San Diego Union Tribune“After Ernie (security guard) was killed, we asked for armed security there on that corner and we never got it.”

Unsurprisingly, the latest shooting has left staffers anxious, with several refusing to show up for their Sunday evening services, according to the Union stand.

The San Diego shooting occurred less than a week after art gallery owner Collier Gwin in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood aggressively sprayed an elderly homeless woman with water in cold weather. The video of the incident previously went viral, sparking outrage over the discriminatory attack on the homeless. Due to the outcry, Gwin now faces battery charges and was arrested, while the case remains an open investigation, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Shooting at San Diego shelter highlights rise in violence against homeless people

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to top