SAN DIEGO — A man who was watching an Escondido fireworks show from 1/2 to a mile away was shot by an unknown assailant and hospitalized with a wound believed to be life-threatening, authorities said Friday.

It happened Thursday about 9:30 p.m. at Third Avenue and Hickory Street, Escondido police Lt. Mark Petersen said.

The victim was shot in the abdomen, Petersen said. The man's girlfriend tried to drive him to a hospital but was stuck in traffic from the fireworks show and flagged down officers, who summoned paramedics to take him.

The man was able to tell police he was shot from an unknown direction while walking to his car, the lieutenant said.