Chula Vista daycare owner exchanges shots with ex while children hide

Posted at 11:09 AM, Oct 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 00:02:29-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) -  Chula Vista Police arrested a man Monday on suspicion of shooting at his ex-girlfriend at her home daycare when seven children were inside.

Officers responded to the home in the 2100 block of Corte Condesa at 2:45 p.m.

The woman said her ex-boyfriend, Gustavo Sepulveda, was outside her home and trying to break in. She also told police Sepulveda lit a car on fire on a nearby street.

Police said Sepulveda fired his handgun at the home, shattering the rear sliding glass doors.

Officers say the daycare owner grabbed her own gun as Sepulveda entered the home and that she fired it in self-defense.

Another daycare worker took the children into a bathroom for safety.

Sepulveda set several fires inside the home, causing smoke to build, police said.

Reggie Sims, who lives next door, saw one of the fires from his room. He immediately grabbed his garden hose to put the fire out.

Sims believes the daycare owner and employees were heroes, acting selflessly to quickly and calmly take control of the situation.

"She was the hero, she really did a wonderful job sacrificing herself for the safety of the children, which is amazing," said Sims. "She's a wonderful neighbor and wonderful childcare provider."

After the chaos, Sims welcomed the children and adults into his home, as police investigated the scene for hours.

Officers took Sepulveda into custody. Police say he's facing several felony charges, including multiple counts of attempted murder.

Sepulveda suffered minor injuries during the incident.

State officials say the daycare facility is still licensed. They say it is legal for an in-home daycare operator to have firearms in the home, as long as they are secured and locked away from children. 

Police say the firearm was secured in a part of the home not used for daycare.