Owner of dojo kills himself inside studio after police contact him about child molestation case

The owner of a self-defense studio in Ventura shot and killed himself Wednesday after authorities went there to investigate child molestation allegations, police said.

Ventura County police detectives went to the United Studios of Self Defense about 3 p.m. to search the business when they ran into owner Sean Curtis, who then armed himself with a handgun, Police Cmdr. Tom Higgins said.


As detectives began exiting the studio in the 1700 block of South Victoria Avenue, they heard a gunshot from inside.

Curtis, 38, of Ventura was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in the back of the business, Higgins said.

Detectives had identified Curtis as the suspect in a child molestation case.

According to Curtis' LinkedIn profile, he had been operating the karate studio since 2011. In a 2012 video on YouTube, Curtis demonstrates defense tactics that would take down and break the arm of an opponent.

Detectives are still investigating the case and asked parents of children who attended classes at the business to call police at (805) 339-4304.

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