Entertainer recalls ‘infectious smile’ of shooting victim

May 3, 2017
People look over the scene Monday, May 1, 2017, in San Diego, at the La Jolla Crossroads apartments where a deadly shooting took place on Sunday. Peter Selis, despondent over a recent breakup, opened fire at a poolside birthday party and phoned his ex-girlfriend as he kept shooting strangers, police said Monday. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP)

SAN DIEGO (AP) — Monique Clark was remembered for her infectious smile by her friends, including entertainer Nick Cannon who wrote on social media that “tears can’t express the pain and shock” that she was gunned down over the weekend in a mass shooting at an apartment complex in San Diego.

The 35-year-old mother of three was the lone person killed by a gunman who shot seven people at a poolside birthday bash Sunday. Police said the shooter was despondent over a recent breakup with a girlfriend.

Cannon, who grew up in San Diego, posted a photo on Instagram of himself and Clark laughing and sitting on stairs when they were young.

“Such a beautiful spirit with an infectious smile,” the former host of TV’s “America’s Got Talent” wrote. “I have nothing but wonderful memories of this Angel.”

Two prayer services were planned Wednesday night at local churches and a vigil was also set to be held at the apartment complex to honor Clark, who had three daughters — 2, 11 and 13. White flowers and a floral wreath were placed Tuesday outside the pool area.

“She had such a great personality,” said Vincent Howard, who met Clark in high school. “She was always smiling. She was always with her kids and everyone else’s kids. She was like a mother to them all.”

Howard said Clark also helped homeless people, volunteering often at food drives.

Authorities say Clark was shot and killed by 49-year-old Peter Selis, who called his ex-girlfriend during the attack so she could hear him shooting strangers.

Officers killed Selis in a shootout at the upscale apartment complex that owners describe as a Mediterranean village with playgrounds, pools, deli and other facilities. The six other victims were expected to survive.

Clark’s family could not be reached for comment. Her mother, Michelle Fuget, wrote on the GoFundMe website that her daughter was beautiful, funny and feisty.

“The grieving process is fresh, raw, and real,” Fuget wrote. “My granddaughters lost their mother, I lost my daughter, her siblings lost their sister, and countless other family members and close friends have lost someone who was taken from us too soon due to a senseless” cowardly act of violence.

Another victim, Michigan State University graduate Charnee James, 24, was supposed to start a job at a marketing firm in San Diego on Tuesday but instead was in a hospital after being shot in both legs at the party, her grandfather, Emmuel Gullatt, told the Detroit Free Press.

Her mother, Stacy Gullatt, told the newspaper that James will probably come back home to Michigan to recover but her daughter’s dream is to make it in the fashion industry in California.

“She’s just got to get over the trauma and the shock,” her mother said.

Police searched the apartment of Selis, a father who worked as a car mechanic, and found no evidence that he planned an attack, Assistant Chief Brian Ahearn said.

Selis filed for federal bankruptcy protection in October 2015, listing $14,000 in assets and $108,000 in liabilities, according to court records.

Efforts to reach his family and ex-girlfriend were unsuccessful.


AP researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York and reporters Elliot Spagat in San Diego and Christopher Weber, Michael Balsamo and Brian Melley in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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