Poway Easter shooting stuns community

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Image by Ulybug via Flickr

Image by Ulybug via Flickr

Poway residents were shocked once again on Easter Sunday when a shooting left a couple and gunman dead. These events, along with the recent death of local high school teen Chelsea King, have left the neighborhood stunned in the normally safe suburban community.

The deaths of Mitch Cunnyngham, 58, and his wife Diana Cunnyngham, 56 are reported to be motivated by a ongoing 10-year feud over cars being parked in front of a neighboring house. Their neighbor, Robert Reed, opened fire through a sliding glass door in the Cunnyngham home, and then proceeded to “[walk] around the outside of the house as he pumped bullets,” said sheriff Lt. Dennis Brugos. The couple’s son as well as his wife and daughter remained inside the home and were not harmed.

David Cunnyngham, son of the late couple, reported seeing the neighbor approach the house with a shotgun and revolver. He then ran inside to inform his father, who ran to get his gun, but did not have a chance to use it before Reed opened fire.

Robert Reed, suspect of the shooting, was later slain by deputies when he refused to drop a pointed shotgun. Further investigation revealed that he was arrested two years ago in another dispute with the Cunnynghams, involving Reed stabbing son David Cunnyngham in the leg. The charges were later dropped.

“The shooter didn’t get along well with other neighbors as well. He didn’t want people parking in front of his house,” said Brugos.

There has not been a homicide in Poway for more than two years, and no record of three occurring at once.


  1. L. Boisvert

    April 7, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Concerning the Poway shooting…I live near the neighborhood and noticed that the gunman’s house is really not near to the victims’ home. Why would David park so far up the street if not to taunt this person? Has anyone looked into this angle? I am not implying that it was a retaliation but it doesn’t seem that this has been discussed and I believe it should be. David knew this man was unstable, hence the first offense two years ago. I don’t understand why he would ever need or want to park up the street after that incident unless to make some point or gesture. Would you mind responding back to me? Thank you,

  2. R and R

    April 7, 2010 at 3:59 am

    really…wow. someone got murdered. no matter how bad someone is taunted, cold blood is not the answer. the previous comment needs no further reaction or thought.

  3. Anonymous

    April 7, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Liz, what a stupid comment. So I guess it was ok for Robert Reed to shoot these poor people if David parked in front of his house. It doesn’t matter what angle you look at this he murdered two people and deserved to die himself for commiting such a horrible crime.

  4. Anonymous

    April 7, 2010 at 7:09 am

    It’s obvious Robert “Bob” Reed snapped! I worked with Bob for the past two years, and let me tell you, I didn’t see anything like this coming. He was a rather difficult person to get through to when explaining things or whatever. He was never very pleasant or outgoing. Let’s just say that from what his neighbors have said, holds pretty much true with his personality at work, just not violent. I won’t miss him, just for the fact that he has killed two people in front of their family and a child at that! Sorry Bob, but you deserve what you got. I have a feeling he wanted it to end this way.

  5. Laura

    April 7, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    First of all, it shouldn’t matter if David parked in front of his house, or not… parking in front of someone’s house is NOT an excuse for killing them. Secondly, David did not park in front of Robert’s house. Most of the neighbors knew to stay away from Robert; he has terrorized the neighborhood for years. When the author referenced the fact that Robert didn’t want people parking in front of his house, he was making a general statement. David was parked in front of his parents’ house.

  6. Patricia

    April 7, 2010 at 6:59 pm

    This is awful. Someone people get angry over the stupidest things. Really…you are going to shoot someone and ruin a whole families life because of a parking situation. He was obviously a very deranged man. What an awful thing to happen.

  7. E. Roddy

    April 8, 2010 at 1:28 am

    I worked with Bob Reed at General Dynamics in the late eighties for several years. I have nothing good to say about him. He was stubborn and got under my skin. Probably the worst person I ever had to work with. At that time, he had quietly boasted to me and other co-workers about his “hobby” of taking James Bond style firearms training that used live amunition. He came across as though it was for self defense. The guy was a nut who was able to function just well enough to have and retain good jobs. At General Dynamics, he was a Systems Engineer. It seems for decades he probably had a fantasy to be in a gun battle under seige from bad guys, and probably grew impatient that no bad guy armed to the teeth ever stormed his house. Realizing he betrayed his own fantasy, he probably decided it would be best for the deputies to take him down versus jail for life. My two cents.

  8. Anonymous

    April 8, 2010 at 5:11 am

    This is a very sad situation. I would like to send my condolences out to both families impacted by this. Also I would like to send prayers and blessings to the community affected by this tragedy. We can not get better as a whole unless we recognize the mistakes of the past.

  9. Liz is not too smart

    April 10, 2010 at 6:13 am

    Liz, let me say this; I have first hand knowledge of Exactly what actually happened here (and the entire 10 year “feud”) and you really need not believe everything you read in the news. I personally had issues with bob as did pretty much anyone who came into contact with him. If you read more than one article about this tragedy you will find two different versions of the story. If you read 3, you’ll find 3 different versions. The truth is that this man killed two innocent people in their home on Easter Sunday. I don’t care if Dave parked his truck in Bob’s living room (by the way, he didn’t park in front of bobs house on sunday), it’s hardley a reason to kill liz, You are no doubt a liberal that believes that criminals should have more rights than the police and that people aren’t responsible for their actions because they had a bad childhood. It is very easy for all you posters on the Internet to judge David for what you percieve he did to bring this on himself; you mock him and use the term hero because he jumped out of a window, shame on you all. This man will have to live the rest of his life with the vision of his slain mother and father in the livingroom he grew up in. Not to mention that his 8 year old daughter will now grow up having been shot at and having seen her dead grandparents. Liz, instead of trying to justify what bob did because it makes you feel safe, as though Dave must have “made bob do it” therefore this could never happen to you. I suggest you pray for him, his sisters, his wife, and most of all his daughter….

  10. scott

    May 11, 2010 at 8:39 am

    people love to kill each other. it’s totally what history is made out of

    but people, for the most part, don’t kill randomly. there is usually a history.

    and, history neither makes someone who studies it a liberal or a conservative or stupid. in fact, studying the reasons for why things happened is actually kind of cool

    so, why does the article make it sound like the neighbors lived right next to each other?

    why is this a stupid question?

    why does the possibility of a 10 YEAR FEUD ending in death and misery seem so strange?

    obviously, the parked car was the issue. and why would someone stabbed in the leg drop all charges?

    point in fact: news is full of misinformation. news is designed as entertainment.

    point in fact: two people being slain sucks.

    point in fact: nothing in the original poster’s comments said the couple deserved to be killed. the original poster merely pointed out that the article misrepresented the geography of the incident.

    point in fact: three killings in the area now in one year. not a good sign for real estate values!!!!

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