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An attacker fired a pellet gun at 4 LGBTQ+ bars in California. The community wants answers

San Diego LGBTQ gay bar attacks Richs
instagram @richssandiego

A staff member at one of the bars said their establishment has been the target of several anti-LGBTQ+ incidents in the past, and they suspect the threats will continue.

An attacker targeted at least four LGBTQ+ bars with a pellet gun over the weekend, sparking fear and outrage among the San Diego community.

The assailant fired the pellet gun from a vehicle around 1 a.m. Saturday morning, San Diego Police told CBS 8, targeting four queer establishments in the southern California city: Rich's, The Rail, #1 on Fifth Avenue, and PECS.

A security guard at The Rail, Donny Hurry, told the outlet that he was outside when someone began shooting from their vehicle. He realized the weapon was not a real gun after he was hit in the arms and back several times, and he then tried to run towards the car to get a description of the attacker before they drove off.

Eddie Reynoso, a host at Rich's, said that he was standing outside when the suspect began yelling slurs from the what appeared to be an SUV and firing what he believed was an AK-47 or alike automatic weapon. Reynoso ducked immediately, but still got "hit directly in the eye."

"I feel something kinda like explode almost like something popped. And by then I was already falling to the ground," he said. "In my mind, I thought I just got shot through the eye and my eye just flew out."

Reynoso said that Rich's has been the target of several anti-LGBTQ+ incidents before, and he suspects the threats will continue.

Law enforcement has not released an official suspect or vehicle description, nor have they said if the attacks are being investigated as anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes. Police also said they are not yet certain whether the non-lethal rounds used to target the establishments and their patrons were bearing balls or paintballs.

Izan Corso, a patron who was at The Rail when the attack occurred, added: "This is obviously a safe space. So the fact that people can just come in from outside and sort of make it feel unsafe is just unfortunate."

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Ryan Adamczeski

Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.
Ryan is a staff writer at The Advocate, and a graduate of New York University Tisch's Department of Dramatic Writing, with a focus in television writing and comedy. She first became a published author at the age of 15 with her YA novel "Someone Else's Stars," and is now a member of GALECA, the LGBTQ+ society of entertainment critics. In her free time, Ryan likes watching New York Rangers hockey, listening to the Beach Boys, and practicing witchcraft.