Video Captures Biotech Exec's Alleged Shooting Spree

PHOTO: Hans Peterson
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Surveillance video captured the final moments of a once-successful California biotech executive's alleged bizarre September shooting spree.

Hans Petersen, 49, was in court this week, accused of injuring two people in a September rampage. A San Diego judge ruled Monday that Petersen must stand trial on attempted murder and other charges.

Petersen faces up to 96 years to life in prison if convicted in the Sept. 18 shootings. He has pleaded not guilty.

Video shown during Monday's preliminary hearing allegedly shows Petersen, gun in hand, breaking into the home of Ron Fletcher, his former brother-in-law.

"When I grabbed the gun, he fired and shot me in the stomach," Fletcher said in court.

"I tackled him to the ground and fought with him."

In pain and holding his stomach, Fletcher says he managed to keep the gun away from Petersen, fighting him off. When Fletcher reached for his cellphone to call 911, he says, Petersen stopped him by smashing his phone.

"He started yelling at me to open my safe," Fletcher said.

The alleged rampage continued until police arrived, guns drawn, bringing an end to a spree that allegedly started four hours earlier and half a mile away. Earlier that night, Petersen allegedly broke into the home of Steven Dowdy, his former business associate. Prosecutors accuse Petersen of firing into Dowdy's bedroom while he and his wife were sleeping.

"I realized then that this is not merely a robbery, but this is someone trying to assassinate me," Dowdy said.

Dowdy was shot in the back, and says he would have died had he not taken cover behind a dresser, where four bullets were lodged.

"When the bullets stopped firing and I was concerned that he was trying to reload, that's when I opened the curtains to look and see a little bit. I was, of course, concerned he'd shoot me on the head right there," Dowdy said.

Petersen's estranged wife says her husband "went into an emotional tailspin and a depression" after losing his job, according to court documents.

She also claims Petersen began to change when he stopped taking medication prescribed to him after a skydiving accident.

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