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Gunman shoots 2, kills self in parking lot of San Diego-area Costco

Teri Figueroa, Lyndsay Winkley and David Hernandez, The San Diego Union-Tribune on

Published in News & Features

CHULA VISTA, Calif. -- A couple loading groceries into a car at a Costco in Chula Vista on Monday afternoon was shot several times by a gunman who then turned the weapon on himself in a deadly domestic violence ambush, police said.

The shooter died at a hospital, and the injured couple -- a man and a woman -- were in surgery after the shooting, Lt Dan Peak said. The woman's infant, who had been in a nearby stroller during the attack, was not injured.

The gunman had a prior dating relationship with the woman he shot, Peak said, and the other victim was the woman's current boyfriend.

Peak said that just before 1 p.m., the Police Department got multiple calls that several people had been shot in the Costco parking lot on Broadway near Naples Street.

Officers arrived and found three people down near a cluster of cars. All three were taken to a hospital. The shooter, whose name has not been released, died shortly before 2 p.m. The couple, also not publicly identified, were in surgery with "serious injuries" Monday afternoon. The baby was with family members.

Police were not able to immediately say what may have sparked Monday's shooting. Peak did confirm witness accounts that the gunman approached the victims from behind, but couldn't say whether the assailant had been lying in wait.

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At least two witnesses said the gunman had placed a Gatorade bottle over the muzzle of the handgun in an apparent attempt to quiet the sound.

The brazen midday shooting left bystanders in shock.

"A guy was shooting. A guy was holding a gun and shooting a woman," witness Min Chen said.

Chen said she and her husband had just arrived at the warehouse store parking lot when her husband ushered her to the front end of their car as the gunman fired. She heard perhaps 10 shots.

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