2 women shot at day care in Springfield with 70 kids inside; victim stopped shooter from entering – TalkLPnews Skip to content

2 women shot at day care in Springfield with 70 kids inside; victim stopped shooter from entering

The shooter fired through the front door of a KinderCare after a woman with whom he had a relationship refused to open the door, Fairfax County police said.

Two women were shot inside a KinderCare day care center in Springfield, Virginia, on Wednesday. Potentially saving lives, one of the victims refused to let the shooter enter, authorities say.

More than 70 children were inside the day care at the time of the shooting but none were hurt, Fairfax County police said.

“We’re relieved no children were harmed today,” Deputy Chief Brooke Wright told reporters.

Suspect Julio Pascual Sejas, 41, of Arlington, was arrested after an hourslong manhunt.

The gunman fired three shots through the door of the day care center in the 8500 block of Bauer Drive, Wright said. He had tried to speak with a woman with whom he had a relationship, but she refused to open the door to him.

“She was on the inside of the door, and she never did open the door,” Wright said.

Sejas used a pistol to shoot the woman and a coworker in the upper body, police said.

Officers were called to the day care at about 2:15 p.m. and arrived in less than two minutes, Wright said. A huge police response surrounded the day care. The shooting victims were rushed to a hospital with injuries not believed to be life-threatening.

The dozens of children at the day care were “not within sight” of the shooting and did not appear to even know about it, Wright said.

“It doesn’t appear that any of the kids had any indication that anything even happened here today. They were jovial. They were taken outside. They didn’t appear to see the broken front door or have any indication that something was wrong,” she said.

Police told parents to go to the West Springfield District Station on Rolling Road to pick up their children.

‘Why is this happening at a day care?’

A man whose wife works at the day care center said he sped there to pick her up after she texted him and said two teachers were hurt.

“I jumped to action. I jumped in my car and I ran over here,” he said.

“Why is this happening at a day care? What has a 4-year-old ever done to an adult or whoever to warrant this type of situation?” he said, fighting tears.

The shooting shook officers too, Wright said.

“Almost all of us are parents. We understand exactly what the public is feeling, and we want to reassure you that we will do everything to get this person, or any other person who’s dangerous, into custody as soon as possible to protect our children,” she said before Sejas’ arrest.

Suspect in Springfield day care shooting found after hourslong manhunt

Sejas was found and arrested by the police department’s Fugitive Tracking and Apprehension Unit, police said in an update at about 6:30 p.m. They tracked him down at Washington Dulles International Airport as he tried to pick up relatives who were arriving, police said in an update.

He was taken to the county jail and held without bond.

Anyone with information on his whereabouts had been asked to call 911.

“We do believe him to be dangerous, so we ask that you do not try to make contact with him,” Wright said.

Sejas was wanted on seven felony counts, including for malicious wounding and use of a firearm. It wasn’t immediately clear if he has a lawyer.

Police initially said the suspect fled in a green Dodge Ram. They said in an update that the truck is not related to the investigation.

‘We are grateful to our West Springfield team for their quick response’

The day care will remain closed through at least the end of the week, KinderCare Learning Companies said in a statement.

“We’re heartbroken that a violent man came to our center and shot two of our teachers. Our thoughts are with the two teachers who were hurt, and with their families. We understand the teachers are in stable condition, and we’re grateful for that news,” the statement said in part. “We’re also relieved that no children witnessed this violence, nor were any children hurt.”

“Nothing is more important to us than the safety of the children in our care. We train our teachers and staff to respond to a variety of emergency situations so that when a crisis happens they’re able to act quickly and calmly to keep your children safe. We are grateful to our West Springfield team for their quick response to today’s crisis and their unrelenting focus on the safety and wellbeing of the children in their care,” they continued.

KinderCare said they would check that teachers have access to mental health resources and families have access to trauma-support materials.