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Pattaya Daily News

27 December 2008 :: 16:12:54 pm 28328

Suspected Santa Shooter Had Bomb, $10K In Cash

Police Suspect Bruce Pardo Entered Ex-In-Laws? home, Killed 8, Burned Home and Later Took His Own Life The suspected "Santa shooter" who killed at least 8 people before taking his own life Christmas Eve, had booby-trapped his rental car with explosives, and was carrying $10,000 and a plane ticket out of the country when he died, police told ABC News today.
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Police say Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, dressed in a Santa Claus costume, opened fire inside a crowded Christmas Eve party before starting a fire at the Covina, Calif., home of his former in-laws.

Pardo was reportedly distraught over his recent divorce. Police have begun searching his home in the nearby Los Angeles community of Montrose, looking for more clues to a motive, The Associated Press reported today.

Police said witnesses told them Pardo began shooting as soon as the front door opened. “An 8-year-old female was running toward him at which time she was shot in the face,” Lt. Pat Buchanan of the Covina Police Department said in a press conference. “He fired multiple rounds into the people attending the party and multiple people were struck.”

When officers first arrived at the still-burning house, “they were met with a scene that was just indescribable,” Police Chief Kim Raney said Wednesday.

They found three charrred bodies in the living room. Five more bodies were found later. None had been identified but Pardo’s ex-wife and her parents are unaccounted for.

The 8-year old girl survived the shooting with severe injuries to the face, but eight others did not. Pardo reportedly sprayed a flammable liquid around the house using a homemade device, setting it ablaze. He had hidden the canister containing the liquid in what appeared to be a large, gift-wrapped present.

Some partygoers ran out the back door while at least one woman ran upstairs and jumped off the roof to escape, reportedly breaking her leg in the process. Neighbor Jan Gregory told the AP she saw a teenage boy flee the home, screaming, “They shot my family!”

Witnesses reported Pardo took off the Santa costume and fled the scene. When police arrived just before midnight on Christmas Eve, the house was already in flames. The fire was not put out until about two hours later.

Hours later, Pardo committed suicide in his brother’s home in Sylmar, Calif., where he was found with $10,000 in cash, police said.

Police also found a key to a rental car on Pardo’s body and found the car a short distance from his brother’s house, according to a report by ABC’s Los Angeles affiliate, KABC.

Along with additional ammunition, detectives noticed a suspicious device in the car and called in the bomb squad to defuse what police believed was a pipe bomb. After the bomb squad arrived the bomb was ignited, though no one was hurt in the incident.


Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : World News

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