The husband and wife were having a serious talk about the need for a separation.
Soon, with their two teenage daughters in the house, gunshots rang out.
Wednesday, Garden Grove police said a seriously wounded man was in the hospital after he tried but failed to kill himself after he first tried to gun down his wife.
The drama unfolded in a home in the 12200 block of Pearce Avenue early Wednesday morning.
When officers arrived at the house at 1:37 a.m., they found Fermin Soto, 40, in the garage with a gunshot wound to the stomach and a loaded .22 caliber Ruger rifle nearby.
After securing Soto’s weapon and administering first aid until medics arrived, officers interviewed Soto’s wife and concluded that he had held the rifle to his head when the topic of separating came up and threatened to shoot himself.
When his wife struggled with Soto to take the rifle away from him, the gun went off into the ceiling, police say.
The wife ran away from Soto and he fired one round at her but missed, according to police.
Soto then apparently turned the rifle on himself and shot himself once in the stomach.
He was transported to UCI Medical Center, where he underwent emergency surgery and remains in critical condition.
The wife and the couple’s two daughters were not injured.
Officers obtained a temporary restraining order against Soto, who is not in custody at this time due to his injuries.
He remains hospitalized and could be charged with attempted murder, police say.