Suddenly, travelers hear a shootout outside their San Simeon hotel room

Tribune photo by Kathe Tanner

When gunfire broke out at the south end of San Simeon late Sunday night, Lynaia and Richard Fraund were in Room 101 at the Motel 6, the room they always request when heading back home from family visits. They were on their way to Redlands, east of Los Angeles, from a Thanksgiving holiday with family in San Jose.

Lynaia Fraund said she thought the loud noises she heard about 11:30 p.m. were from someone banging hard on their door or window, “maybe trying to break in.” Her husband said it was gunfire from what he presumed was heavy-duty weaponry. Then more shots were fired, perhaps from smaller-caliber guns, she said, “and there was a lot of yelling.”

“I’d never heard that many gunshots before,” Richard Fraund said, “except on TV or in a movie.”His terrified wife called 911. Then, following the dispatcher’s instructions, the couple and their quivering Chihuahua, Bebe, huddled away from windows, under a blanket in the bathroom. After about 45 minutes in hiding, she called authorities again and was told “the situation was managed we could go back to bed.”

Soon thereafter, however, two detectives knocked on the door of the Fraunds’ ground-floor motel room, and asked what the couple had heard and seen.

“I come here all the time,” Lynaia Fraund said, “and always stay in Room 101. It’s quiet, and the people here are really nice.”

The next time she drives north? “Maybe I’ll stay upstairs,” she said. “Or maybe we won’t come back at all.”

Related stories from San Luis Obispo Tribune