They always say the holidays bring out the crazies. Looks like this guy decided to go out in style. After a nasty divorce, he donned his Santa suit and went looking for his in-laws.
COVINA, Calif. (AP) — The bloodbath began when an 8-year-old girl attending a Christmas Eve party answered a knock at the door. A man dressed as Santa and carrying what appeared to be a present pulled out a handgun and shot her in the face, then began shooting indiscriminately as partygoers tried to flee.
By the time it was over, at least eight people at the party were dead and the house was torched. The gunman killed himself hours after exacting revenge against his ex-wife by going on a massacre at his former in-laws’ home.
Bruce Pardo’s ex-wife and her parents were believed to be among the dead. At daybreak Friday, investigators planned to resume searching what was left of their two-story home on a cul-de-sac in a quiet Covina neighborhood 25 miles east of Los Angeles.
Pardo, 45, had no criminal record and no history of violence, according to police, but he was angry following last week’s settlement of his divorce after a marriage that lasted barely a year.
“It was not an amicable divorce,” police Lt. Pat Buchanan said.
Investigators seeking further information about Pardo’s motives have begun searching his home in the suburban Los Angeles community of Montrose.
Police said he showed up at his former in-laws’ home around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday for their annual Christmas party.
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 in the aerospace industry.
David Salgado, a neighbor, said he saw the 8-year-old victim being escorted to an ambulance by four SWAT team members as flames up to 40 feet high consumed the house.
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Artist’s representation of what he might have looked like.
Actual picture of what he looked like.