California Mom and Her Gun Instructor Arrested in Plot to Murder Husband
Diana Lovejoy and Weldon McDavid—whose business claims ‘Safety is our first priority’—allegedly plotted for a month to kill her estranged husband, then carried out a sniper attack.
A Carlsbad, California, mom faces up to 25 years in prison after she allegedly conspired with her shooting instructor to kill her estranged husband, police said.
The husband was injured in a Sept. 1 sniper attack but survived, and Diana Lovejoy, 43, and Weldon McDavid Jr., 49, were arrested on Thursday. Police say the two came up with the plan together but it was McDavid, Lovejoy’s instructor, who pulled the trigger in the attack. They are being charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon, and assault with great bodily injury, according to the Carlsbad Police Department. McDavid faces up to 50 years in prison.
“We also believe that McDavid called the victim and arranged to meet the victim on the access road off Avenida Soledad,” the police said in a statement. “Next, while hiding in the bushes, McDavid shot at the victim, hitting him once in the side. McDavid then fled the area.”
Police say the duo began planning their attack as early as Aug. 1, according to the Los Angeles Times. They met at an Oceanside shooting range, where McDavid taught and where Lovejoy took lessons.
The shooting happened a little after 11 p.m. on Sept. 1. A reverse 911 call went out to residents, warning them to stay inside until 3 a.m. as SWAT teams crawled the area.
The police are still investigating what motivated the shooting and the extent of the suspects’ relationship. There are no outstanding suspects in the attack, which sent shockwaves through the community.
Lovejoy’s husband was rushed to the hospital, where he underwent surgery for a gunshot wound to his side. He was in stable condition after the surgery.
Lovejoy filed a complaint against her husband in July 2014, according to San Diego County court records. He filed for divorce the next month.
The Daily Beast is not identifying the victim, a 45-year-old man, because his name was not released by police.
But his split from Lovejoy included a custody battle over their young son. Social media accounts for the parents show each posing with the boy in their profile photos.
McDavid is also the father of a young son, according to Facebook.
McDavid’s Twitter account says the gun range instructor was in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1997 to 2009. The Daily Beast was not immediately able to confirm his service record on Sunday.
On a website for his business, McDavid claimed he was an instructor in the Marine Corps, teaching urban warfare, combat marksmanship, and primary marksmanship.
His social media accounts feature many items branded with the company’s name, McDavid Firearms Training.
“McDavid Firearms Training is dedicated to increasing the firearms community by providing the education and knowledge necessary for beginning to advanced shooters to utilize firearms safely,” his business webpage says. “Safety is our first priority.”
He frequently spoke out on social media against gun laws and against Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
Before being arrested on Thursday, McDavid cheered news that a shotgun maker was moving more jobs to Texas. “Leave the anti gun states and stop selling even to law enforcement in those states,” he wrote.
On July 5, he tweeted a self-authored blog post titled “Why I can NEVER vote for Hillary.” It was just three passionate sentences long.
“Supporting gun control is like supporting slavery,” wrote McDavid, who is black. “The gun control laws in this country have historically designed to keep minorities disarmed and in need of protection. The only change is we’re all minorities in the eyes of people like Hillary.”
Lovejoy and McDavid will be arraigned Monday, but they likely won’t be getting out to the shooting range anytime soon. On Friday, a judge ordered them held on $2 million bail.