The ex-boyfriend of the owner of a small day care in San Diego County fired shots at the facility – while seven children were inside, hiding in the bathroom – and set fire to the day care Monday while the owner armed herself and fired back.
The domestic violence incident began around 2:45 p.m. at a home on Corte Condesa near Mt. Miguel Road in the San Miguel Ranch area that also serves as a day care center for children ages one to eight, the Chula Vista Police Department (CVPD) said. The owner of the day care told police her ex-boyfriend, Gustavo Sepulveda, 36, was outside the house, trying to get in.
CVPD Lt. Dan Peak said Sepulveda wanted a mattress from inside the home. The victim told police Sepulveda had lit a car on fire near the residence and his behavior was growing increasingly violent.
Sepulveda was armed with a handgun, which he began firing into the home, shattering the glass doors at the back. He then walked through the shattered doors and into the day care.
Seven children were under the care of the facility at the time. Police said another day care employee rounded up the kids and locked them in a bathroom to protect them.
Meanwhile, the owner of the day care armed herself with a gun and, according to CVPD investigators, fired her weapon in self-defense to keep the suspect away from the day care. She fired one shot; the suspect was not hit, Peak said.
Police said Sepulveda then set several fires to the home, causing smoke to build up inside.
CVPD officers soon arrived at the day care and ordered the suspect to drop his weapon. Sepulveda was arrested without incident. The children and employees were safely evacuated; no one was harmed.
Sepulveda was booked into San Diego Central Jail on dozens of felony charges including 11 counts of attempted murder, seven counts of child cruelty, arson and shooting at an inhabited dwelling. His booking record shows he’s set to appear in court Wednesday.
The investigation is ongoing; anyone with information on this case can reach out to the CVPD at (619) 691-5151. It is legal to have a handgun inside a day care as long as it is secured, according to Peak.