The San Miguel man suspected of shooting a pregnant Paso Robles woman intended to kill her and was not acting in self-defense, police said Wednesday.
“It met the elements of attempted homicide, which means it was a preplanned event,” said Lt. Ty Lewis, of the Paso Robles Police Department.
Just before midnight Friday, officers found the 34-year-old woman in her Paso Robles home conscious after being shot several times. Her 15-year-old daughter had called 911.
Police are not disclosing the woman’s name because she is the alleged victim of domestic violence.
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Steven Smith, 26, was arrested Saturday in connection with the shooting after he was found in San Miguel by sheriff’s deputies. He pleaded not guilty Tuesday to two counts of attempted murder and one count of first-degree burglary. He remains in County Jail in lieu of posting $1 million bail.
Five consecutive shots were heard from the woman’s house Friday, Lewis said.
Police said it was unclear whether the pair was in a romantic relationship.
“It’s one of those things where it changes depending on which party you ask,” Lewis has said.
Police say the woman invited Smith into her home and he did not break in. It appears that they were fighting because Smith was trying to end his involvement with her, police said, and she didn’t want it to stop.
Investigators are looking into the possibility of harassing text messages the woman might have sent Smith before the incident, Lewis said. Smith’s stepmother said their association was casual and short-term, and that the baby may not be his.
He faces a burglary charge because he allegedly entered the house with the intention of committing a felony, police said, not because he stole something.
Three bullets struck the woman — one each in her hand, chin and forehead — from a small-caliber handgun Smith often carried, police said.
The shot to the forehead didn’t pierce the skull. It appears the shot to the hand might have resulted from the woman shielding herself, Lewis said.
The woman, who is about 36 weeks pregnant, was initially taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital for treatment. She and her unborn child are expected to survive.
A hospital spokeswoman would not confirm whether the woman remained at Twin Cities on Wednesday and would not address whether the unborn child had been delivered.
Smith has been suspended from his role as a volunteer assistant football coach at Paso Robles High School, where he had passed a criminal background check about five years ago.
He has no prior offenses in the county, according to San Luis Obispo County Superior Court records.He is scheduled back in court Nov. 19 for a bail review and pre-preliminary hearing. In the bail review, he will likely request that his bail be reduced, according to the District Attorney’s Office.