A woman was in critical condition at IU Methodist Hospital after she was shot multiple times in the parking lot of a Northwestside daycare center, according to police.
None of the 17 children at the Eagle View KinderCare Learning Center, 6750 Eagle View Drive, were injured.
The victim, Shirley Justice, 31, was able to tell police that her ex-husband, Christopher Justice, 33, was the person who shot her.
Police are looking for Justice, described as a black male about 6'-1" and weighing 180 pounds. He is believed to be driving a black Ford Fusion with an "In God We Trust" plate number UXR330 with 2014 expiration.
Initial reports indicated the Shirley Justice sustained multiple gunshot wounds in her chest area, according to radio traffic, but was talking to medics while in an ambulance en route to a hospital at 7:45 a.m.
The shooting occurred about 7:20 a.m. at the center located in a business and commercial area north of 38th Street and west of I-465. The victim was found on the ground in the parking lot by a center manager, police said.
The shooting occurred after Shirley Justice had taken her two children into the center.
There were 15 other children inside the facility at the time of the shooting, IMPD Lt. Chris Bailey said.
The black Volkswagen driven by the victim remained at the scene late this morning with its driver's door window shattered by bullets.
Parents and guardians were called to pick up children at the center, he said. The school will be closed today.
The run came out as shots fired, Bailey said. A caller reported hearing about 10 shots.
Police are not yet saying how many bullets struck Shirley Justice.
Lolita Robinson, 40, Indianapolis, hurried to the daycare facility this morning to pick up her 6-year-old niece after seeing news reports of the shooting, she said. The child's mother is out of town for work, she said.
Her niece spends part of her mornings at KinderCare before staff members take her to her school, she said.
"I had to go make sure my baby girl right here was OK and safe," Robinson said. "I'm sorry this bad thing has happened at her daycare. Shouldn't no child experience anything like that."
Her niece seemed relatively unfazed as she sat in a car seat in the back of a car, unaware of the specific details of the incident.
"I'm going home and read books," the child said.
Court records and police reports detail a tumultuous domestic relationship between couple involved in the shooting going back as far as 2007.
In June 2008, while staying at a domestic violence shelter, Shirley Justice filed a complaint saying her husband had physically abused her for the past several months. The husband "stated to her that he would kill her and her daughter if she leaves him," the woman told police, according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police report.
Christopher Justice, now suspected of shooting his ex-wife, was ultimately charged with invasion of privacy in July 2008. At trial, he agreed to participate in 26 weeks of domestic violence counseling through probation, and the case was dismissed, said Marion County Prosecutor's Office spokesman AJ Deer. During that time, Shirley Justice filed a no-contact order against her husband.
In April 2009, Christopher Justice attended a compliance hearing and it was determined he had satisfied terms of that probationary period, Deer said. He added that the no-contact order likely ended around that time.
While that case ended in April 2009, Marion County civil court filings show another contentious case – a custody dispute over the couple's daughter -- was revived in January 2013.
Last week, a Marion Superior Court judge awarded sole custody of the couple's daughter, now 6, to Christopher Justice.