A man accused of shooting two La Jolla residents in their homes in the span of four hours had recently suffered a failed business and was going through a bitter divorce, according to his estranged wife.
"He couldn't find me, I was really lucky," Bonnie Fletcher told NBC 7 hours after her estranged husband was arrested for shooting two men in the early hours Wednesday.
Fletcher said she stays with different friends on different nights fearing Hans Petersen, the man she loved for 11 years.
Petersen, a former biotech entrepreneur living in the University Towne Center area, was accused of standing outside a home on Waverly Avenue in the exclusive Bird Rock community around 3 a.m. and shooting his former business partner, Steve Dowdy, through a window.
"He blamed Steve, Steve fired him,” Fletcher explains. “He blamed Steve for ruining the company."
The next target four hours later: Fletcher's brother - 43-year-old Ronald - who lives with his two daughters in a house on Cottontail just up the hill from Dowdy’s home.
Ronald Fletcher heard a rock crash through a front window.
"He yelled for the kids to run and call 911 and they ran to the back of the house and they locked themselves in the bedroom and went back and locked themselves in the bathroom and called 911."
Officials said Fletcher was shot in the stomach by the suspect inside the home.
Fletcher said her brother wrestled the gun free and hit Petersen over the head. Police arrived shortly after, making the arrest.
"My brother's been protecting me, my brother's been standing up for me," Bonnie Fletcher said.
She said her brother, who is a real estate agent, helped her sell some Pacific Beach property she owned with Petersen as part of their separation. The move angered Petersen.
Admittedly still in shock, she is talking about the violent shootings to spotlight domestic violence - a problem for even seemingly perfect couples and communities.
“Embarrassing, it's something you don’t want to tell people about, something you want to say this can’t happen to me," she said.
Something - she is still struggling to comprehend - although feeling safer.
"I haven't felt safe in a long time," she said.
Dowdy, a UCSD School of Medicine professor, was wounded in the back.
The two girls inside the home on Cottontail were not injured in the shooting.
San Diego police have not released a motive for the shooting but a source tells NBC 7 that Dowdy and Petersen had a joint business venture to develop a treatment for cancer. When the project went sour, Dowdy settled but Petersen, still angry, sued.
Petersen and Bonnie Fletcher also have had a bitter divorce.
Petersen was released from the hospital and booked into custody. He will appear in court Friday for an arraignment.
San Diego police say Petersen faces charges of burlgary and shooting into an occupied dwelling as well as 3 counts of attempted murder including Dowdy's wife who was in the same room as her husband at the time he was shot.