The suspect is 35-year-old John Rand Agosta. He is behind bars, accused of killing his estranged wife Alejandra Hernandez.
"They are a married couple that is recently estranged," said Irvine Police Lt. Julia Engen. "We don't have any idea what led up to violent events of today."
According to police the shooting occurred on the 18000 block of Via Sienna around 2 p.m. Hernandez had just left work at a private daycare center adjacent to Turtle Elementary School.
Investigators say she was confronted by Agosta. Neighbors reportedly heard Hernandez scream, followed by gunfire. Hernandez died at the scene.
The neighborhood was on lockdown as police and SWAT officers searched for the suspect.
"We thought he was roaming around here," said Irvine resident Rene Nichols. "Neighbors were locked in their homes and school was just around the corner, so there were kids around. It's frightening to think that he could be walking around or in somebody's home."
Authorities tracked Agosta down at an apartment complex in Mission Viejo and took him into custody. It was welcome news for Hernandez's family and a terrified neighborhood known for its safety.
"What a safe community this is," said Irvine resident Paula Demas. "And I still believe it is, but with that in mind it makes it even more unnerving that a murder would take place here in Irvine."
Agosta is behind bars and is charged with murder.