A California man, woman, and two children believed to be related were found dead of gunshot wounds in their home on Tuesday in an apparent murder-suicide.
Officers were dispatched to the house in the city of Fontana, just 50 miles outside of Los Angeles, after a call was placed on Monday night by a 16-year-old male who said that members of his family had been killed or were injured inside of the house. He is not considered a suspect and has not been identified.
Sgt. Doug Imhof of the Fontana, California, police department described to the media that when Fontana police officers arrived at the home at about 8:30 p.m., the bodies of a boy and girl as well as those of a man and woman, who appeared to be between the ages of 35 -40, were discovered inside.
According to police, their investigation has shown that the children and the woman inside died of multiple gunshot wounds, while the man found with them had died from a single bullet. The deaths are now being investigated as a triple murder-suicide. Because the other victims were shot multiple times and the man only once, police believe that the man was the shooter. Reports also indicate that a handgun was found next to the man’s body.
Before obtaining a search warrant on Monday night, Imhof reported that: “There is some amounts of blood in different areas of the house. There’s a couple of weapons that have been seen by our detectives just looking, but they haven’t been able to search the house because they can’t until they obtain a search warrant.” It is unclear as to why the detectives needed a search warrant to investigate the scene of what had been an obvious violent crime.
Imhof believes that all four of the victims lived in the home, but was not clear on the relationships between them. Neighbors in the California neighborhood have reported that the four dead in the apparent murder-suicide were a man, his wife, and the woman’s two children, a girl aged 12 and a boy aged 10, who were the man’s stepchildren. The murders are believed to have taken place earlier in the day on Monday.
One neighbor, Jessica Arauz, indicated that arguing and a possible gunshot could be heard from inside the home on Monday, while other neighbors reported hearing nothing. One neighbor told reporters that the household involved was a quiet one and that when he heard the police coming on Monday night, he assumed that there had been a car accident.
Although the city of Fontana has a population of 200,000, the neighborhood in which the killings occurred has been described as a quiet one with rare instances of violent crime. According to police, before today they had no record of having been called to the address in the 7300 block of Palmetto Avenue on a matter of domestic violence.
The apparent murder-suicide of the man, woman and two children found dead inside their home rocked the California neighborhood on Monday. Said one neighbor, “I’m just speechless, no words. How could you do that to kids?”
By Jennifer Pfalz