A 45-year-old Los Angeles man who was apparently distraught over money troubles shot and killed his wife, three sons and mother-in-law before taking his own life, police said on Monday.
The father of three, who was not immediately identified by authorities, was believed to have shot five members of his family and then himself sometime after 6 pm on Saturday, a Los Angeles police spokesman said.
Los Angeles Police officers stand in front of the home where six bodies were found at a gated community in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Porter Ranch area of Los Angeles on Monday, October 6, 2008. An unemployed accounting industry worker who was despondent over financial problems shot and killed his wife, three children, mother-in-law and then himself in an upscale home in a gated community, police said Monday. [Agencies]
It's "a very tragic scene, total devastation inside this home," Deputy Chief Michael Moore told reporters at a news conference. "Inside the home, officers discovered six bodies, all belonging to the family that lived at this location."
Moore added, "We believe this to be a murder-suicide."
The man, a former employee of major accounting firms who had an MBA in finance but was having trouble finding a job, left three letters in the home detailing his financial difficulties, police said.
"We believe that he has become despondent recently over financial dealings and the financial situation of his household and that this murder-suicide event is a direct result of that," Moore said.
Many people have lost their jobs in recent month in the United States which, like many other countries, is struggling with a growing financial crisis. A government report last week said US employers cut 159,000 nonfarm jobs in September, a ninth straight month of falling employment.