Spurned Lover Opened Fire in Carlsbad Senior Living Community, Neighbors Say

The 87-year-old man turned the gun on himself after shooting his female friend while they were tending the garden at the senior living community

By Dave Summers, Andie Adams and R. Stickney
|  Tuesday, Feb 25, 2014  |  Updated 8:13 AM PDT
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NBC 7's Dave Summers talked with neighbors of the woman shot at the Tavaura Senior Apartments on Harding Street in Carlsbad.

NBC 7's Dave Summers talked with neighbors of the woman shot at the Tavaura Senior Apartments on Harding Street in Carlsbad.

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A shooting at a Carlsbad senior living community may have been the result of an unrequited love, neighbors told NBC 7.

Shots were fired at the Tavarua Senior Apartments on Harding Street around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

When Carlsbad police officers arrived, they found an 87-year-old man and a 63-year-old woman with gunshot wounds in the apartment's courtyard.

Investigators say the evidence indicates the man fired at point-blank range aiming at the woman's head while she was bent over tending a space here in the community garden before turning the gun on himself.

Caretaker Betty Hairez, who was working at the apartments at the time, said she heard three gunshots.

"All of a sudden, I hear another bang and it's a shot, and then the lady falls to the ground, and I'm thinking, 'Oh my God.' So I'm looking at her, and all this blood starts coming out of her head on the ground, and then I hear another shot, and then I turned around, and the man fell into the flower bed," said Hairez.

Before turning it on himself, police say the man fired two shots , one in the woman's shoulder and a second which grazed the neck of the woman who neighbors say was his love interest.

The woman was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla via helicopter. At last check she was out of surgery. Her condition is not yet known.

Both people lived at the apartment complex where the shooting took place, but they did not live together, the complex's manager confirmed.

Neighbors say the man they identified as "Vond" moved here with his daughter from Henderson, Nev. Why he kept a gun in a senior living community is anybody's guess. 

Neighbor Anthony Mata recalled warnings about the man's interest in the shooting victim.

"He was obsessed with her for quite some time. They were telling him leave her alone but they never expected something like this," Mata said.

Resident Paul Jacinto saw the same signs of an unhealthy obsession. "I don't think it was ever there but he kept pursuing her just didn't want to give up," Jacinto said.

"It's devastating. She's a good person," Jacinto said of the shooting victim. "You can tell she is happy person."

Carlsbad Police are continuing the investigation. They are looking into the relationship between the man and woman but would not comment on a motive in the shooting.

Tavarua Senior Apartments are open to residents 55 years old or over.

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