San Diego’s Downtown Entertainment Area Under Scrutiny After Fatal Shooting; Police Put More Officers On The Streets
In the wake of a recent incident in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter in which a trouble-seeking individual found what he was looking for and wound up shooting five people (one fatally), the inevitable questions are being asked on social media, among friends and elsewhere about this section of the city.
Was this an isolated incident or is the Gaslamp Quarter a safe place for bars, restaurants and nightlife?
As a local who lives and plays in the “GQ” as us cool people call it, I can unequivocally say that yes, it a very safe place to eat and drink.
I have no problem walking around at night. I cruise into the bars and restaurants – and sometimes stumble out of them – without a single thought about my safety.
The area is well lit and full of fun and happy people. In fact, several bystanders jumped in to hold down the shooter until police arrived. And, as an interesting side fact, there are no alleys in the Gaslamp. It was designed that way on purpose. So there’s no need to worry about turning a corner and winding up in a dark alley.
What happened on that terrible night was one person who went out seeking to case trouble. He was armed and dangerous. It could – and too often does – happen anywhere. It is certainly not an indication of the neighborhood. Once the police sirens calmed down, the police helicopter went away and the shooter was arrested, it was perfectly safe to walk down the same streets where the incident took place.
As a matter of fact, I was right there the very next afternoon. And evening.
The biggest blight in the Gaslamp is not a criminal element but the homeless. They are laying out on the sidewalks in so many places you have to look down when you walk. Several have mental health issues and can act crazy by yelling out in the open or walking aimlessly down the sidewalks with their pants hanging down practically to their knees.
They need help from counselors and mental heath expects yet are getting none, despite the campaign promises of our new mayor.
Trust me, you will see a lot more of that than you will dangerous situations in the Gaslamp. What you will see most of, however, is a vibrant nightlife area full of fun party people.
And you’ll feel even safer with an increased police presence after the shooting. According to San Diego police Chief David Nisleit, officers will be “proactively working to stop any events like this before they happen.”