A father in California killed his daughter, Monday, with three grandchildren in the home. He critically injured another daughter before turning the gun on himself.
The incident took place on a residential street of small stucco homes in Orosi, about 20 miles southeast of Fresno. The town has a population of about 9,000 people in California’s Central Valley.
According to authorities, the shooting occurred while the man’s three young grandchildren were sleeping in the home.
Tulare County Sheriff’s Department said the man’s eight-year-old granddaughter called to report gunfire before dawn on Monday. When deputies came, they found 63-year-old Anthony Alvarez, a Vietnam veteran, dead from what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Alvarez’s oldest daughter, Jennifer Kimble, 37, was found dead from multiple gunshot wounds. She was the mother of the three children in the home — two boys ages 13 and 11, and the 8-year-old girl who called 911.
Kimble’s sister Valerie Alvarez, 33, who according to reports is disabled, was in critical condition with at least one gunshot wound. She was airlifted to a hospital in Fresno.
She underwent surgery, sheriff’s spokeswoman Sergeant Chris Douglass said. “It’s going to be complicated for our detectives because we can’t ask Jennifer what happened and we can’t ask Anthony what happened,” Douglass told reporters.
But Douglass said investigators did not doubt that Anthony Alvarez had shot his daughters and turned the gun on himself. “It’s a very cut-and-dried case,” she said.
There was no information on a possible motive or what triggered the shooting. Authorities believe that Alvarez got into a fight with his older daughter, Kimble, which turned violent.
Neighbors speculated that Alvarez’s motive perhaps had to do with his late wife’s death last year.
“It’s a big surprise. I just can’t believe it. Poor kids,” Felicia Marroquin, a neighbor told reporters.
The incident is still under investigation. Autopsies were planned later in the week.
According to reports, Kimble worked in the cafeteria of an elementary school near the house where she was slain. Her supervisor said she was a dedicated, caring employee. “I’m just as surprised as anyone else right now,” Brenda Lightfoot-Handy, director of food services at Palm Elementary, told the Fresno Bee. “I’m just trying to process this.
The father of the young children was at work when the shootings took place. He was reunited with his children who were unharmed.
According to neighbors the family, who all live together in one home, were planning to take the children to Disneyland later this week.
Gun violence imposes significant costs on children, families, and American society as a whole.
According to a recent John Hopkins Bloomberg Pubic Health Report, more than 31,000 people in the United States die each year from gunshot wounds. Firearm homicide rate in the US is twenty times higher than those in other high-income countries.
The report states that this number is unusually high for the US when compared to other similar countries. According to the report, while there was little difference in the overall crime rates between the US and other high-income countries, the homicide rate in the US was seven times higher than the combined homicide rate of 22 high-income countries.
By Perviz Walji
The reason is high prevalence of gun ownership and less restrictive laws, the reports says. These two factors combined resulted in the why violent crime in the US is much more lethal that in countries of similar income level.
There has been a fierce debate for and against gun control in the US for many years.