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News Release

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Media Relations

Husband Kills Wife then Self NR14294pv/jm

Panorama City:   Los Angeles Police Department Mission Division Homicide detectives are investigating the apparent murder-suicide of a woman by her common-law husband at an apartment in the 8700 block of Tobias Street.  Although the apartment was filled with children, ages between 19 to 1-years-old, and one other adult, no one else was injured.

“After the 40-something-year-old suspect had fired three rounds from a shotgun, the adult daughter’s 21-year-old boyfriend wrestled the shooter out of the apartment,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division.  “He may have saved the lives of the others.”

The 41-year-old victim and the shooter shared only one of the seven children present in common, a 10-year-old son.  The victim’s 19-year-old daughter was pregnant and had three other children present during the incident, a 1, 3, and 4 year-old.  Also present were the 13 and 16-year-old sons of the victim.  The extended family had lived at the apartment for two years, where the mom was the manager.

Last night’s incident began just before 10 p.m., after the husband had consumed five or more beers and argued with his wife.  According to a friend, the husband called him to say he was going to kill himself. Before the friend arrived, the husband texted him that he was going to kill his wife too.

When the friend arrived to take the husband away, the friend heard yelling inside the apartment, then gun shots.  “It appears the man shot the victim at least once, then tried to shoot himself,” Lt. Vernon explained.  At that point, the daughter’s boyfriend pushed the gunman out of the apartment.  The gunman then turned the gun on himself once again, this time killing himself with a shotgun blast to the head.  A sawed-off shotgun was found near the man’s body.

“Tragic as this is, it could have been so much worse,” Lt. Vernon added.  “It’s lucky no one else was killed or wounded in that crowded apartment, either on purpose or by accident, thanks in part to the boyfriend.”

The victim and suspect’s names will be released once next of kin have been notified.

Initial checks by police showed no record of police calls to that apartment over the last two years, while the family has lived there.  Detectives will complete a full check on the suspect’s criminal history once his identity is verified.

The Mayor’s Crisis Response Team and social workers from the Department of Children and Family Services met with the surviving children at the police station to provide aid, guidance, support and more.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Mission Division Homicide Detective Efren Gutierrez at 818-838-9948.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to www.lapdonline.org, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips.”