Police continue search for suspect in daycare shooting
The search continues for a man suspected of critically wounding his estranged wife outside a daycare. Police say she had just dropped their children off for the day.
IMPD officers are looking for 33-year-old Christopher Justice. He is African-American, 6'1", 180 lbs., last seen driving a black Ford Fusion (In God We Trust Indiana license plate, UXR 330, with 2014 expiration).
If you think you've seen Justice, call 911 immediately. Do not approach him. It's believed he could still have the weapon used in the shooting.
Christopher Justice is a US Army Reserve soldier who also served in Iraq from 2006-07. Justice is not on active duty right now.
The shooting occurred at around 7:24 am at the KinderCare parking lot in the 6700 block of Eagle View Drive. The daycare director found the woman, later identified as 31-year-old Shirley Justice, after she'd been shot multiple times near her vehicle.
"I really didn't know it was gunshots. I just heard pop pop pop pop pop. I just sat in the car because it sounded like it was really close to me," said witness Reggie Dial. "I just got out the car and it appeared to be somebody running towards the Arby's and I got out and looked and seen a lady or whoever laying down and I just saw feet."
The daycare director alerted police and the victim was taken to a local hospital in critical condition.
"To see somebody laying there, not knowing their condition, if they're going to make it or not, it's just sad," Dial said.
IMPD says Justice was able to tell police that her estranged husband, Christopher Justice, 33, was the person who shot her. She had just dropped her two children off inside the daycare when Christopher Justice surprised her with a gun outside.
No children were injured during the incident and no other parents were targeted. Parents rushed to the daycare as soon as they were contacted.
"They just told me it was an emergency at her school and I had to come pick her up. I asked what happened, but they could not get into details," said parent Lindsey Baker.
"When I heard it, I was scared," said parent Tiffany Witty. "Anyone could have got hurt. It could have been her. It could have been anyone else."
Eyewitness News has learned that the daycare will remain closed on Wednesday. A private security guard was hired to park outside the daycare until further notice.
Sources tell Eyewitness News the victim and her ex-husband are in the middle of a custody battle. In 2008, Justice told police her husband threatened to kill her and their daughter if she filed for divorce.
Despite earlier restraining orders, Christopher Justice was able to track down the victim, once while she was at a women's shelter.
A domestic violence advocate tells Eyewitness News that can happen, even when the shelter's location is not disclosed.
"You're still paranoid. You're still watching your back," said Patricia Chandler with Quest for Excellence. "You still got to go to work, you gotta look for housing. You have children, they have to go to school, so it's hard."
There was no protective order in force when Justice was shot Tuesday morning. But a housing advocate for domestic abuse victims says those orders are still important to have.
"There are certain types of abusers that we'll work with and there's types of abusers that, you know, 'If I can't have you, no one else will.' They're going to take that power and control to the farthest degree," said Julia Kathary at Coburn Place.