One suspect was detained Tuesday night by the San Diego Police Department (SDPD) following a shooting that targeted the Golden Dragon Asian Bistro in Hillcrest. No injuries were reported, according to NBC 7 San Diego.
At approximately 7:40 p.m., witnesses heard gunshots on 4th Avenue and University Boulevard, aimed at Golden Dragon Asian Bistro. The suspect was described as a Black man carrying an assault-style rifle. The man was seen fleeing to an alley between 4th and 5th Avenue, near Upas Street.
The front window of the restaurant was shattered and 19 shell casings were discovered at the scene of the crime. Police also located a duffel bag containing discarded clothing and an assault rifle in a nearby dumpster shortly after the shooting took place.
The suspect responsible for the Hillcrest shooting was later identified as 29-year-old Stefano Markell Parker. According to the San Diego Police Department (SDPD), Parker had made a ‘disturbing’ Facebook post targeting the LGBTQ+ community prior to the shooting. The Hillcrest neighborhood is historically known for being at the heart of San Diego LGBTQ+ culture.
On Friday, Parker was charged with 13 felony counts in court, including 11 counts of premeditated attempted murder with a special allegation of discharging a firearm, another count of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and one count of shooting into an occupied building. He stands to face 374 years in prison if convicted of all charges.
At this time, SDPD is still determining Parker’s motive for the Hillcrest shooting.
According to Assistant Police Chief Al Guaderrama, “We have a tremendous amount of evidence that we need to go through before we make the determination that it was a hate crime.”
If you are a UC San Diego student who was at the scene during the shooting, please reach out to The Triton at firstname.lastname@example.org. For inquiries or to report more information, SDPD Western Division can be reached at (619) 692-4800.
Ella Chen is the News Editor of The Triton.
This story is developing and was last updated on February 16 at 1:30 p.m. Please continue checking back for updates.