76-year-old man fatally shot one and injured two, including his daughter, authorities say

A woman with a gray bob and wearing a law enforcement uniform speaks into microphones.
San Diego County Sheriff Kelly Martinez, with North County Fire Protection District Chief Keith McReynolds, provides an update on the shooting of three people in the San Diego County community of Fallbrook.
(Teri Figueroa / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A 76-year-old man is accused of killing one person and injuring two others — including his own daughter — in a shooting Friday afternoon at a plant nursery in the San Diego community of Fallbrook, sheriff’s officials said.

A man who appeared to be in his 50s was found dead, with apparent gunshot wounds in his upper body, inside a barn at the Atkins Nursery.

Two more people were also found with apparent gunshot wounds to the upper body. One was a man in his 70s. The other, a woman in her late 30s, is the daughter of the suspect, San Diego County sheriff’s homicide Lt. Chris Steffen said at an 8:30 p.m. news conference.


The suspect was identified as Enrique Barajas Gutierrez. His relationship with the other two victims was not yet known, Steffen said. He said he believed they all worked at the nursery.

“As far as motive, we don’t know,” he said.

The incident was first reported about 2:45 p.m. in a rural area that has several residences, wineries and the nursery. Helicopter video from a local TV news outlet showed dozens of emergency vehicles parked at the scene.

San Diego County Sheriff Kelly Martinez had said at an earlier news conference that deputies arrived in the area in seven minutes and found three people had been shot.

Deputies continued to search the area and found the shooting suspect inside the barn, Steffen said. He was taken into custody at the nursery around 3:15 p.m. without incident.

Steffen said he believed some type of rifle was used in the shooting.

Few additional details were immediately available. Steffen said it would take a couple of days for detectives to interview the surviving victims. He said the victims had all been identified, but the department would delay releasing their information pending notification of their families.

“This is a devastating incident,” Sheriff Martinez said, “and our hearts go out to everyone who was affected by this tragedy.”


North County Fire Protection District firefighters, sheriff’s deputies and officers from several nearby cities responded to the shooting.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office tweeted in the late afternoon that it was monitoring the shooting.

“Our thoughts are with those impacted by today’s act of violence, and all the Californians recovering from tragic shootings this year,” the office tweeted.

Winkley and Figueroa write for the San Diego Union-Tribune. Union-Tribune staff writer Caleb Lunetta contributed to this report.