Suspect Arrested In Horton Plaza Fatal Shooting
A parolee was back behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of carrying out an apparently random and unprovoked shooting that killed a 43-year-old career Navy man and wounded the victim's cousin at the Westfield Horton Plaza mall.
Arrow Morris, 39, of San Diego was arrested during a traffic stop in the 3500 block of Afton Road in Serra Mesa on Monday evening, police revealed late this morning.
About 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Morris allegedly opened fire with a pistol on James Celani of San Diego and the victim's relative on the seventh floor of the downtown shopping center and fled with a companion.
Celani, a military aviator assigned to headquarters staff at Naval Special Warfare Command in Coronado, was pronounced dead at UCSD Medical Center from bullet wounds to his chest, homicide Lt. Mike Holden said.
Celani's cousin, a 29-year-old Riverside resident whose name was withheld, was treated for a minor gunshot wound to the leg.
Detectives identified Morris as the suspected gunman after interviewing witnesses and reviewing surveillance video, Holden said. The lieutenant declined to say where the images were captured, though he said the fatal assault was not recorded by a security camera.
Prior to the shooting, the suspect and the victims had been at a standup comedy venue at the mall, according to police. Just before the gunfire erupted, Morris was outside the theater, arguing with a woman, Holden said.
During the quarrel, the suspect allegedly grabbed the woman's purse and walked off along with a cohort, then shot the victims moments later upon encountering them as they were returning to the club.
"This just really seems to be an unprovoked, senseless attack on two people who happened to be walking by at the time," the lieutenant said.
Morris was booked into San Diego Central Jail on suspicion of murder, attempted murder, violation of parole and dissuading a witness. Holden declined to disclose the identity of that witness, though he said it was not the person Morris had been with at the shopping center.
Detectives have identified that man and "are attempting to determine his exact involvement in the shooting," Holden said.
"He has not been arrested, and his identity will not be released at this time," the lieutenant said.
Officers recovered the stolen purse, according to Holden.