Man dresses as Santa kills three at Christmas party
A man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire with a handgun at a Christmas party in a suburban Los Angeles house that subsequently was destroyed by a fire, police said Thursday. Three people were found dead in the charred ruins of the house, dpa reported.
Police named Bruce Jeffery Pardo, 45, as a person of interest in the gruesome crime and said that he had been experiencing marital problems with a woman who was attending the gathering in the quiet suburb of Covina some 30 kilometers east of Los Angeles. In addition to the three dead, three other people were also injured in the shooting. None of the victims were initially identified by police.
Police were alerted to the house shortly before midnight on Christmas Eve after reports of gunshots, said Covina police officer Pat Buchanan at a news conference Thursday morning. When they arrived they found the two story house in flames and the three bodies were found only after the flames were put out.
Police Thursday were still looking for Pardo, whom they described as armed and dangerous.