A father apparently distraught over job problems fatally shot his wife, five young children and himself at their harbuor-area home Tuesday. Police said the victims included two sets of twins.
Shortly before the killings, the man faxed a letter to a TV station claiming that he and his wife had been fired from jobs as medical technicians and she suggested they kill themselves and their children, too.
“Why leave the children to a stranger?” the man wrote, according to KABC-TV.
KABC reported that the man claimed in the fax that a medical center administrator rebuffed them when they showed up to work, told them to file a union grievance and said, “You should have blown your brains out.”
The man wrote that they filed a grievance but nothing was done and two days later they were fired, KABC said.
“They did nothing to the manager who started such and did not attempt to assist us in the matter, knowing we have no job and five children under 8 years old with no place to go. So here we are,” the note said.
At the bottom of the note, the man wrote, “Oh lord, my God, is there no hope for a widow’s son?”
The note said the couple worked at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, but police said they were trying to confirm that. A message seeking comment from the medical center was not immediately returned.
The family was not immediately identified. Police said the child victims were an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls and twin 2-year-old boys. It was the third mass slaying of a family in Southern California since fall.
“Today our worst fear was realized,” said Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner. “It’s just not a solution. There’s just so many ways you find alternatives to doing something so horrific and drastic as this.”
Police described the fax but did not release the detail reported by the KABC.
“He was going through some critical situation at the job, that’s what he described in that two-page letter, ongoing problems at the job, and that’s what prompted him to take his own life and his family, from what was said in the fax letter,” Garner said.
The TV station called police after receiving the fax, and a police communications center also received a call from a man who stated, “‘I just returned home and my whole family’s been shot,”‘ Garner said.
“There is a disconnect but we believe our suspect is the one who called,” Garner said.
Garner said a note was found in the home, but it was not clear if it was what had been faxed to the TV station.