A man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire at his relative’s house in Los Angeles suburb of Covina killing 9 people and then shooting himself after going to the house at almost midnight. The shooter then set fire to the scene starting a Los Angeles arson and then fled the scene, traveling 40 miles to Sylmar, California and then killed himself. Had the gunman lived, he could have been charged with a Los Angeles murder. In fact, he could have faced capital murder charges, also called murder with special circumstances. In California, a person that commits murder in the commission of a Los Angeles arson crime, could be charged with the death penalty. In addition, the special circumstances of the multiple murders also could lead to the death penalty. These crimes are defended by a Los Angeles homicide crime defense attorney.
Police state that the gunman, Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, had just completed a contentious divorce with wife of one year. He then went to the home of his in-laws and knocked on the door wearing a Santa suit. When an 8 year-old girl opened the door, he pulled out a gun and opened fire, striking her in the face. Another young girl was shot in the back as she ran away.
At the time of the shooting, there were 25 people at the residence. Many of then jumped from second story windows to escape the gunfire. Apparently, the family hosts a huge Christmas party each holiday season. After he committed the murders in Los Angeles, he then used a machine to spread flammable liquid around the house and then set fire to the residence. The burning of the residence is considered a Los Angeles Arson crime. These types of crimes are defended by a Los Angeles arson crime defense attorney.
Pardo then fled the scene, traveled to his brother’s house and then shot himself int he head. When the police found his body, he had third degree burns on his arms. Police stated that part of his Santa suit had melted onto his arms. He was also found to have a plane ticket to Canada and $17,000. It is presumed that the money was his own, but if he had stolen the money and had he lived, he would have needed to be defended and should contact a Los Angeles and Southern California theft defense attorney.
By the time that the carnage had ended, Pardo had killed both of his in-laws, their daughter, who was his recent ex-wife and 6 others. According to the Corner’s Office, dental records will be needed in order to determine the positive identities of the other occupants because they had been burned so badly.
Neighbors heard the gunfire and by the time they came outside, the home was already on fire, and Pardo had already fled the scene.
If you are under investigation for a Los Angeles arson crime, or have been charged with a Southern California violent crime please contact Los Angeles criminal defense attorney Michael Kraut for 24/7 assistance by phone at (323) 464-6453 or toll free at (888) 334-6344 or online.