San Diego shooting victim sues, saying family should have known gunman was ‘walking time bomb’

Investigators at the scene of poolside shooting at the La Jolla Crossroads apartments in University City.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

A woman injured when a gunman opened fire on a poolside birthday party at a University City condominium complex in April has filed a lawsuit claiming the gunman’s family should have known he was a “walking time bomb.”

Charnee James, 24, was one of seven adults shot by 49-year-old Peter Selis, when he opened fire on partygoers in a pool area at the La Jolla Crossroads Apartments on Judicial Drive. Selis, who lived at the complex, was shot and killed by San Diego police officers.

James was shot in both legs. She suffered “considerable nerve damage” and incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills as a result of her injuries, the lawsuit said. She also lost her new job, and her therapy prompted her to move back home to Michigan.

In her lawsuit, James said Selis’ family members were negligent because they knew or should have known Selis was a danger to himself and others because he was obviously struggling. The lawsuit said those closest to him should have noticed the warning signs, including a recent breakup and crippling debt.


Selis’ brother-in-law, Stuart Posnack, is chief executive of Garden Communities, a development firm that is the parent company of La Jolla Crossroads LLC, which owns the complex where the shooting occurred. Both companies are named in the lawsuit, as is Selis’ estate.

The suit also said an unnamed security guard company in charge of watching over the property was negligent in failing to prevent the shooting and for failing to protect victims once the shooting started.

James is seeking unspecified damages.