SDPD Investigates 2 La Jolla Shootings

Two shootings reported with a mile and within hours of each other

La Jolla residents awoke Wednesday to two shootings in the tony seaside neighborhood but San Diego police are still working to determine whether the incidents are related.

A shooting at a home in the 1400-block of Cottontail Lane stemmed from an argument between the homeowner and his former brother-in-law police said.

The shooting suspect, Hans Petersen, went to the home of a 43-year-old man just before 7 a.m. and shot him in the torso according to police.

Police said the homeowner, now identified as realtor Ronald Fletcher, grabbed the gun and struck Petersen in the head, injuring him.

A nearby resident, veterinarian Trevor Garb, called police reporting gunshots near his home La Jolla Rancho Road.

Garb told NBC 7 minutes before he and his wife heard a man screaming around the corner about a business failure and infidelity among other things. He said the man’s speech sounded slurred.

“We were figuring out what to do and then shortly after that we heard a gunshot,” Garb said.

Then another gunshot was heard several minutes later.

Garb got his own wife and children out of their home and called 911.

When police arrived to the home on Cottontail Lane, the victim was transported to Scripps La Jolla. No word on the extent of his injuries.

Petersen, 48, was arrested at the scene and transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital.

From aerial views, it appears the Cottontail Lane home has a guest house behind the main home with a pool. There's a boat and three vehicles in the driveway.

Police said there were two girls inside the home at the time of the shooting.

Investigators are looking into whether there is any connection to this incident and another shooting that occurred hours earlier about a mile away.

A resident of Waverly Avenue in the Bird Rock area was shot through his bedroom window and rushed into surgery, officials said.

Officers say a 53-year-old man was awakened by gunfire around 3 a.m. They say he got out of bed and was struck by one bullet from his backyard.

Investigators said the suspect ran away through the back alley. There has been no suspect description released.

“We have to talk to the victim and his family a little more to figure out what’s going on,” said San Diego police Sgt. Tom Underwood.

A neighbor told NBC 7 he heard five shots around the same time this morning. He identified the victim as a professor at the University of California, San Diego.

Police later confirmed the victim is UCSD School of Medicine professor Steven Dowdy.

Dowdy was taken to a nearby hospital where he was said to be in surgery for a non-life threatening wound to the torso-area.

“We have a quiet neighborhood and you feel very safe. This rocks your thoughts about what’s going on,” said Bird Rock resident Michael Jaffe. “We’ve recently started having our young kids walk to elementary school. It makes you think twice now.”

San Diego police updated the investigation at 8:30 a.m. to say there are no outstanding suspects in either shooting but would not discuss how the shootings were related.

Officials are still investigating the incidents. Check back for updates as new details develop.

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