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Shooting Outside Del Mar Racetrack Raises Questions About Security At Fairgrounds

A security checkpoint at the Del Mar Fairgrounds near the

Credit: Matt Hoffman/KPBS

Above: A security checkpoint at the Del Mar Fairgrounds near the "Stretch Run" entrance of the racetrack, Sept. 3, 2018.

After a man fired a gun into the air near a ticket booth outside the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club on Sunday, a San Diego Sheriff’s deputy returned fire, taking him down. A department spokeswoman said the suspect, a 22-year-old man from Escondido, is expected to survive.

Now there is growing concern over how someone can just walk up to a fairgrounds ticket booth with a loaded handgun.

"We’ve been doing the races here since 1937 and there haven’t been any shootings," said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club spokesman Mac McBride.

McBride said currently bags are checked before getting in, but there are not any metal detectors or required pat downs.

"We’re going to evaluate," McBride said. "If we think having metal detectors in place might be the best way to go absolutely we can consider that — right now we’re in evaluation mode."

RELATED: Suspect Shot By Deputies In Del Mar Expected To Survive

The sheriff’s department said the man who fired the gun was upset that a performance after the races by rapper Ice Cube was sold out. One racing fan said the shooting doesn't have him worried.

"No, that was an Ice Cube concert," racing fan Scott Lindermuth said. "This is a whole different crowd that enjoys the horse racing."

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club uses both private security and sheriff's deputies at their events. A spokesman said there won’t be any immediate changes to security.

There are new concerns about safety and security after a gunman opened fire in a crowded area Sunday after trying to get into a sold-out concert at the fairgrounds.

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Photo of Matt Hoffman

Matt Hoffman
General Assignment Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI am a general assignment reporter for KPBS. In addition to covering the latest news and issues that are relevant to the San Diego community, I like to dig deeper to find the voices and perspectives that other media often miss.

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