Thursday, December 25, 2008

Santa Kills At Least 9 + Self In LA

December 27th update: Police recovered a second vehicle believed to have been rented by Pardo in recent weeks from a Pasadena company.

A sheriff's bomb squad robot examined the RAV4 and did not find any explosives, officials said. Investigators did find a canister of gasoline, water bottles, wrapped Christmas presents, two computers and a map of Mexico, police said.

A Dodge Caliber Pardo used to flee the scene Christmas Eve was found abandoned near his brother's home in Sylmar, boobytrapped with explosives and ammunition.

Buchanan said Pardo's body was found at his brother's home with $17,000 in cash and a plane ticket to Moline, Ill., with a stop in St. Paul.

From there, Pardo had planned to get picked up at the airport by a friend in Iowa, Buchanan said.

The friend knew nothing of Pardo's plans, he added.

December 26th, pm update: A ninth body had been found in the rubble, according to CNN.

Update: Stinging from an acrimonious divorce, a man plotting revenge against his ex-wife dressed up like Santa, went to his former in-laws' Christmas Eve party and slaughtered at least eight people before killing himself hours later.

Bruce Pardo's ex-wife and her parents were believed to be among the dead. Investigators planned to return to the scene Friday and sift through the ashes of the home, which Pardo set ablaze using a bizarre homemade device that sprayed flammable liquid.

Pardo chose to exact his revenge at the annual Christmas party his former in-laws held at their two-story home on a cul-de-sac in a quiet Covina neighborhood 25 miles east of Los Angeles.

[Covina has a connection to Roswell, of all things, writes author Robert Schneck. The television series Roswell was filmed in various location in Covina including the downtown area on North Citrus Avenue. City Hall, Charter Oak High School and several other businesses and residences served as locations for the fictional version of the town of Roswell, New Mexico (the site of the alleged crash of a UFO and finding of alien bodies in 1947).]

The massacre began when an 8-year-old girl answered Pardo's knock at the door. Pardo, carrying what appeared to be a large present, pulled out a handgun and shot her in the face, then began shooting indiscriminately as about 25 partygoers tried to flee, police said at a news conference.

A 16-year-old girl was shot in the back, and a 20-year-old woman broke her ankle when she escaped by jumping from a second-story window. Those two, and the 8-year-old, remained hospitalized Christmas Day. All were expected to recover.

The gift-wrapped box Pardo was carrying actually contained a pressurized homemade device he used to spray a liquid that quickly sent the house up in flames. Police said Pardo had recently worked is the aerospace industry.


Earlier Update:

Police say six bodies have been found in the ashes of a Christmas Eve party shooting at a house in a Los Angeles suburb that the alleged gunman subsequently set ablaze.

Police Chief Kim Raney says three people believed to have been at the party in the city of Covina remain missing.

The only suspect in the incident, 45-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, killed himself at his brother's house earlier Thursday.

The missing people include the couple who own the home and Pardo's ex-wife.

Police say the gunman wore a Santa Claus outfit during the shooting. Raney says he used a homemade incendiary devise to start the blaze after opening fire.


Original Information:

At least three people were found dead after a man dressed as Santa Claus started shooting at a Christmas Eve party in suburban Los Angeles. The suspect, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, later took his own life, police said Thursday, December 25th, CNN & AP reports.

It was hours later when police found the body of Pardo, at the home of his brother early Thursday in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles. Police said he died by suicide, but would not say how.

"He was going through some type of marital problems, and we believe that this residence is a relative's residence," Lt. Pat Buchanan said.

Police initally said three people were dead in the shootings and fire late Wednesday. Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office said Thursday that investigators sifting through the ashes of the house found more bodies, but would not say how many.

The bodies were too badly burned to immediately determine whether they died in the shootings or the fire, Winter said. "We have multiple bodies inside," Winter said. "They're extremely charred and burned."

The gunman arrived at the party in Covina late Wednesday and immediately opened fire with a handgun, Buchanan said. Witnesses told police that the man took off the Santa suit and left the scene of the burning house in street clothes.

Winter said the search through the destroyed home would take at least until the end of the day.

An 8-year-old girl and a woman in her 20s were hospitalized with gunshot wounds that authorities do not consider life-threatening.

Crews took a third person to a hospital with an injury that wasn't life-threatening and wasn't caused by gunfire, said police in Covina, a city about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The shooting started around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.

When police arrived at the two-story house, they discovered a fire that caused "significant damage." Authorities found three people dead inside but said they do not know how the three died. Their identities had not been released Thursday morning.

"There was some source of ignition that caused the fire," Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan said at a news conference Thursday morning. "We've not been able to identify it yet."

Jan Gregory, a neighbor, said about 25 people were at the party when the gunshots rang out and people started running by the house.

She said she saw a teenage boy run from the house screaming, "They shot my family."

Buchanan says three other people were injured. A woman in her 20s and an 8-year-old girl had gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening, and a third person had a broken ankle.

Police received several 911 calls with reports of shots fired at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, and were still hearing gunshots after they arrived and found the house in flames, Buchanan said.

At first, firefighters were held back by police because shots were still being fired, though it may have been ammunition burning in the blaze, fire Captain Mike Brown said.

Firefighters had extinguished the blaze by about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, fire Captain Mike Brown said.

The two-story home on a cul-de-sac was destroyed in Covina, a quiet suburb 25 miles east of Los Angeles.

"This neighborhood is really quiet," said Jeffrey Barrientos, who lives half a block from the house that burned. Barrientos said the neighborhood's residents were mostly retirees and elderly people.

Lt. Pat Buchanan said Pardo was "going through some type of marital problems."

Police believe the residence where the shootings occurred belongs to one of Pardo's relatives, Buchanan said.

According to police, the gunman arrived at the party wearing a Santa Claus outfit but changed into regular street clothes before leaving.

1 comment:

Cathy Palmer said...

The article says:

Jan Gregory, a neighbor, said about 25 people were at the party when the gunshots rang out and people started running by the house. She said she saw a teenage boy run from the house screaming, "They shot my family."
--- end ---

Why did the boy say, "They" shot his family instead of "he" shot my family?

I have my suspicions but what do you or others think?