2 shootings in La Jolla related, cops say

LA JOLLA, Calif. — Two shootings in La Jolla  that took place just over a mile apart Wednesday morning are connected, investigators said.

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Police investigate a shooting on Cottontail Lane in La Jolla.

In the most recent incident, a 43-year-old man was shot and wounded at his home by a romantic rival in a confrontation that occurred while two young girls were present, police said.

Officers received word of an assault with a deadly weapon at the home at 1462 Cottontail Lane just before 7 a.m., according to San Diego police Lt. Kevin Mayer. Once there, they found a 43-year-old man had been shot in the torso and a 53-year-old man had a head injury, he said.

Investigators learned that the older man went to the younger man’s home and shot him, then the younger man took the older man’s gun and struck him over the head with it, according to Mayer. Two young girls were home at the time but neither was harmed, he said.

Paramedics took the gunshot victim to Scripps La Jolla Hospital, a San Diego fire-rescue dispatcher said. The extent of the injury was unclear, though Mayer said he was conscious and breathing on his own at the scene.

The suspect was treated at the scene and was expected to be booked into jail once medically cleared, Mayer said.

The motive apparently stemmed from a romantic relationship that the younger man had with the suspect’s ex-wife, Mayer said, noting investigators were looking for the woman, whose whereabouts at the time of the shooting were unknown.

Neighbors told Fox 5 News that the shooting victim is a cancer researcher at the University of California at San Diego. He has two children and is an avid surfer, they said.

Investigators said the shooting was related to an earlier shooting that occurred in the same neighborhood. In the earlier shooting, a 53-year-old man was shot in his torso through his bedroom window by an unknown shooter.

That shooting in the 5700 block of Waverly Drive was reported just before 3 a.m., according to San Diego police Officer Dino Delimitros. The man, identified by neighbors as Ron Fletcher, told investigators he and his wife were asleep in their bed when he was awakened by the sound of gunfire and got out of bed, the officer said in a statement.

He said he was shot by someone clad in dark clothing standing in his backyard, Delimitros said, noting that the man’s wound was not life- threatening.

Investigators said the residents of the houses on Waverly Drive and Cottontail Lane knew each other, but they did not specify how the shootings were related. They did not say if a single gunman was responsible for both shootings, saying only that the suspects in both shootings were accounted for and no gunman was still at large.