Authorities Monday released the name of a 43-year-old active-duty Navy man killed over the weekend in an apparently unprovoked shooting at the Westfield Horton Plaza mall that also left the victim’s cousin wounded.
Lt. Cmdr. James Celani of San Diego and his relative were shot about 11:45 p.m. Saturday during a confrontation with two other men on the seventh floor of the downtown shopping center, according to police.
Following the gunfire, the shooter and his cohort — who appeared to be in their mid- to late 20s, one armed with a pistol — ran off to the north through the mall and escaped, said homicide Lt. Mike Holden.Celani, a career 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.
Celani’s cousin, a 29-year-old Riverside resident, was treated for a minor gunshot wound to one of his legs. His name was withheld.
The motive for the shooting was unclear.
“Detectives believe this was an unprovoked attack,” Holden said.
Last July, Celani briefed Under Secretary of the Navy Janine A. Davidson on aerial drone technology during a visit to Naval Special Warfare Command, according to Navy coverage of the visit.
— City News Service contributed to this report.
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