INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 18, 2014) – A woman was shot outside a northwest side daycare Tuesday morning and taken to an area hospital in critical condition, police said.
Police identified the victim as 31-year-old Shirley Justice of Indianapolis. They are looking for the man accused of shooting her.
According to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, Justice was shot in the parking lot of KinderCare in the 6700 block of Eagle View Drive around 7:30 a.m. The manager saw her lying on the ground. Justice had been shot multiple times, police said. She had already dropped off two young children and was shot right next to her car, police said.
Justice was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in critical condition. Her children are in protective custody.
Investigators believe the woman’s ex-husband–33-year-old Christopher Justice–shot her. He was last seen driving a 2006 black Ford Fusion with an “In God We Trust” license plate, number UXR330.
The daycare will close for the day and parents who’ve already dropped off their children were being asked to pick them back up. There were 17 children inside the daycare when the shooting took place. Parents who hadn’t arrived yet were contacted and told not to drop off their kids.
FOX59 also learned the suspect, Christopher Justice, was awarded sole custody of their daughter last week. Police reports and court records may shed some light on their tumultuous relationship. A 2008 police report was made while Shirley Justice was staying at a domestic violence shelter. She filed a complaint stating her husband threatened to kill her and her daughter if she left him. The couple filed for divorce that same year. Christopher Justice was also charged with invasion of privacy in 2008. A court spokesperson said he was assigned 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling. Court documents also show a motion to modify custody was filed in January 2013.
“This wasn’t a random act of violence. Obviously, this victim was targeted by the suspect for whatever reason and it just happened to be in the parking lot of this daycare,” said IMPD Lt. Chris Bailey.
KinderCare provided the following statement:
We are saddened and shocked to report that a parent of ours was shot in the parking lot outside of our Eagle View KinderCare this morning. No children, staff, or other parents were injured. We do not know the condition of the parent who was shot, but we do know that she was tended to right away by emergency medical responders.
Upon this incident occurring, staff immediately locked down the center. Indianapolis Police officers then escorted children who were already in attendance at the center to their returning parents as they arrived, and we offered to accommodate all of our center families at a nearby KinderCare Learning Center this morning.
We understand that police are searching for the shooting suspect; in the meantime, we have brought professional security personnel to the Eagle View center, which remains closed for the day, and to the nearby center where families were accommodated due to the closure. We have also initiated efforts to provide counselors and other support to staff and families at the centers.
All of us are heartbroken by what happened this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with the mother and her children, and we will give them our full support in the days and weeks ahead.
Video from the scene:
Updates from the FOX59 team via Twitter: