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Police: One dead, 2 hospitalized after shooting in Chula Vista Costco parking lot

Posted: 1:05 PM, Jun 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-06-18 09:47:53-04
costco chula vista
Chula Vista Costco shooting

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Two people were seriously injured and a third person is dead after a shooting in a Chula Vista Costco parking lot Monday afternoon, according to police.

The incident happened about 12:30 p.m. near the Costco at 1100 Broadway at Naples St. Other nearby stores include Walmart and Petco.

Chula Vista police said a woman and her new boyfriend were putting away groceries in their car in the parking lot when the suspect approached from behind, shot both victims several times before turning the gun on himself.

“I was about to pull in to the parking lot, a parking space; I thought they were fighting or something," said Carlos, a witness who did not provide his last name.

Chris Anthes, who witnessed the incident unfold, told 10News, “The woman was up, like she was holding her chest. I thought maybe she was having a heart attack or something like that.”

Anthes’ sister-in-law, Angela Shelton, added, “This other guy comes up and grabs ahold of her. Now that I know what was going on, he was trying to shield her.”

Responding officers found the three victims suffering gunshot wounds, according to Lt. Dan Peak of the Chula Vista Police Department.

All three were taken to UC San Diego Medical Center with serious injuries. The suspected shooter was pronounced dead at the hospital, and police said the victims underwent surgery

The woman’s newborn child, who was in a stroller nearby at the time of the shooting, was uninjured in the incident. The child is with family members, police told 10News.

Peak said at a Monday afternoon news conference that investigators believe the suspected shooter is either the ex-boyfriend or an acquaintance of the female victim.

"We can tell you is that we believe the scene is safe; we believe there is no danger to the public," said Peak.

A witness at a Panda Express across from the Costco parking lot said she didn’t see the shooting, but saw police cars swarm the area. Businesses in the area, including Costco, remain open.

Police say they recovered a handgun at the scene. There are no outstanding suspects, according to officers.

Shelton said she noticed something peculiar about the gun.

“It was definitely altered in some way. The end of the gun had a plastic bottle at the end of it.”

Anthes said, “Turns out he had tape wrapped all around it; it was like a homemade silencer.”