San Diego news anchor's gripe with painter leads to shooting
SAN DIEGO (AP) Kyle Kraska saw the painter in the neighborhood and hired him to work on the outside of his house, but the relationship later soured. Police say the painter allegedly fired on the San Diego television sportscaster through the back window of his Mercedes.
Mike Montana, 54, fired multiple shots through Kraska's silver vehicle outside the KFMB-TV anchor's house in the city's quiet, predominantly residential Scripps Ranch area, police said Wednesday.
The CBS affiliate said Kraska's injuries were serious but his prognosis was good. He was recovering after surgery for 10 gun wounds, including shots to the leg and stomach.
Todd Villalobos, a KFMB sports producer and friend of Kraska, told the station that the anchor hired Montana to paint the outside of his house after seeing him work in the neighborhood. Kraska was dissatisfied with the work, paid the painter for what he had done, and the two agreed to part ways.
Months later, Montana began leaving notes on Kraska's door, Villalobos said, according to KFMB.
San Diego police Lt. Scott Wahl said the dispute involved the painting of the anchor's house but didn't offer specifics.
Montana surrendered to authorities Tuesday night, hours after the shooting and a SWAT standoff at his home in suburban El Cajon. He was booked into San Diego County jail and was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday on a charge of attempted murder.
Kraska, 48, is the sports director at KFMB, where he has worked since 1999. He has been a fixture in San Diego homes as the station's evening sports anchor since 2003 and hosts the San Diego Chargers postgame show.
The Boston native previously worked for television stations in Los Angeles; Sarasota, Florida; Tampa, Florida; El Paso, Texas; and Albany, New York, according to KFMB. He began his career as weekend sports anchor in Watertown, New York, during his senior year at Syracuse University.
Montana identified himself as self-employed and the sole owner of Superior Painting Corp. in a filing for personal bankruptcy protection in January 2014. He listed assets of $11,030, liabilities of $38,878 and monthly income of $2,012.
Superior Painting's California business license was suspended in October 2013 for an unpaid balance of $1,951, said Tami Grimes, a spokeswoman for the state Franchise Tax Board.
Robert Nicoll, who lives next door to Montana, told the U-T San Diego newspaper that Montana spoke to him about pulling a gun on three people who confronted him at work to demand that he stop seeking payment from a customer. Montana said the customer owed him money.
Frank Coit, a senior manager at Lone Star General Contracting in Santee, told the newspaper that the company refused to pay Montana in full for a job that was incomplete and needed to be redone, eliciting threatening phone messages from Montana that included mention of a gun.
''He was a very erratic personality,'' Coit said.
Jail records do not list an attorney for Montana, who didn't immediately respond to an email sent through jail system.
San Diego police said the attack was unrelated to any other crimes and described it as ''targeted.''
''(The suspect) was looking for him,'' said Wahl. ''He wasn't looking for someone else.''
AP researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.