Barbara Brand, 81, may need a cane to walk but she is accused of shooting her 57-year-old caregiver and friend Paul Slysh. Neighbors Pat Rodgers and Michael Gruszecki talk to NBC 7s Tony Shin along with SDPD s Acting Lt. Duane Voss in this report.
An 81-year-old woman called police and said she had shot her roommate, according to officials.
Authorities received the call around 4:40 p.m. on Thursday.
When they arrived at a residence at 1579 Morena Blvd. in Coastal Trailer Villa, they found a 57-year-old male suffering from three gunshot wounds to his lower abdomen. The shots were fired from a .38 caliber revolver, police said.
Police apprehended 81-year-old Barbara Brand at the scene and took her in for questioning. She was later booked into Las Colinas Detention Facility on an attempted murder charge.
The victim, identified by neighbors as Paul Slysh, was transported to a local trauma center for medical treatment, police said.
Neighbors told NBC 7 San Diego that Slysh is a caregiver and longtime friend to Brand, who is disabled and needs a cane to walk. She also sometimes uses a wheelchair.
Neighbors said they heard two shots fired from the home on Thursday afternoon.
"I heard two loud noises but I've never heard a gunshot before so it never occurred to me it was a gunshot,” recalled neighbor Pat Rodgers.
Investigators said those shots came from a handgun and both rounds struck Slysh in the torso.
According to neighbors, Slysh is a large man who works as a painter.
To neighbor Michael Gruszecki, it’s clear that the relationship between Brand and Slysh was strained.
"Every time I saw her she progressively aged because of the torment she was going through with this guy,” Gruszecki told NBC 7 San Diego.
Gruszecki said Brand is a quiet, sweet woman whose son died a year ago. He said her relationship with Slysh was like a mother and son at times – but not always.
"Quite a few times I heard them arguing over there and a couple times it got pretty vicious," he recalled.
"What would they argue about? Money -- he was constantly needing money."
Gruszecki believes it was only a matter of time before something happened between the pair.
"She must have just put up with this for such a long time before something snapped in her; there's no question, you know? It was a time bomb,” said Gruzsecki.
Investigators said Brand called 911 after shooting Slysh and told the dispatcher exactly what she had done.
"[She said] that they had an argument about something and she got angry with him and that she shot him,” said Lt. Duane Voss of the San Diego Police Department.
On Friday, police said Brand has been cooperative with the investigation.
According to police, the motive behind the shooting is that Slysh allegedly made insulting comments about Brand’s adult granddaughter, which made her very angry.
Police said Brand got upset, took out her deceased husband’s gun and shot Slysh at the home they shared as roommates.
The investigation is ongoing. Slysh’s current condition is unknown.
Check back for updates on this story.
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