A home security camera captured the struggle between a La Jolla homeowner and the biotech executive accused of shooting him.
The video recorded what happened inside the home of Ronald Fletcher on Cottontail Lane in the early morning hours of September 18.
Hans Petersen is accused of breaking into the home of Fletcher, his estranged wife's brother, and shooting him just hours after another shooting at the home of his former business partner Steven Dowdy in the Bird Rock area of La Jolla.
“I was fighting for my life,” Fletcher testified about the confrontation with Petersen in the bathroom of his home.
Fletcher said he was in his bathroom getting ready for the day when he heard a man demand that he open the door and his safe at the count of three.
“Before he said three, bullets were coming through. I could see them. He shot through my door and they ricocheted in the bathroom,” he said.
Fletcher, 43, was struck in the stomach by a bullet. He testified that he managed to grab the gun from Petersen and waited for police to arrive.
In the video, officers can be seen entering the home with guns drawn. Fletcher throws down the gun and Petersen immediately surrenders.
Fletcher's sister Bonnie was in the process of divorcing Petersen at the time of the shooting.
Dowdy, a UCSD researcher and former business associate of the defendant, also testified at Monday’s hearing about what happened at his home on Waverly Avenue earlier that morning.
Dowdy, 53, was shot through his bedroom window by a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt standing outside his home. He testified he thought the noise was a brick strapped to an M80 at first but his wife confirmed the noises they were hearing were bullets.
Dowdy, who was home with his wife and two childrenk, said he threw framed photos out of the window to distract the shooter and keep him from getting inside the home.
“I yelled ‘I’m hit, I’m hit’ and then there was a third shot,” Dowdy testified. “At that point I realized the person was not there to rob our house but in fact was there to kill me.”
The bullet went through his pelvis traveling about an inch from his spine. He was hospitalized for more than a week.
According to Dowdy, his relationship with Petersen soured when Petersen lost his job and blamed him.
Dowdy testified that Petersen sent him several emails over the course of three years that “progressively got more disturbing” and that the two men hadn’t spoken since the day Petersen was fired – Sept. 12, 2010.
“He hasn’t said a word to me since then,” Dowdy testified.
Fletcher's sister, Bonnie, spoke with NBC 7 and said her brother had been protecting her throughout her divorce from Petersen.
She said her brother, who’s a real estate agent, had helped her sell some property she owned with Petersen as part of their separation.
After Monday's preliminary hearing, Judge Leo Valentine Jr. will decide if enough evidence was presented for Petersen to stand trial.
He faces up to 96 years to life in prison if convicted.