March 31, 2009 3:57:41 pm
An Indian engineer killed two of his children and three other relatives,including a toddler,before turning the gun on himself in a ‘horrific’ shooting rampage in a posh Silicon Valley neighbourhood.
The lone survivor in the murder-suicide in Santa Clara area of California was the wife of the 42-year-old man who escaped with multiple gunshot wounds and collapsed in a pool of blood outside her home. She is fighting for her life at a local hospital,police said.
They said a neighbour called 911 at around 8:30 pm Sunday to report an injured woman outside a house on Headen Way in the high-end neighbourhood of Rivermark.
Police arrived to find five bodies in the house,all shot dead. The suspected gunman was dead with a self-inflicted gunshot wound,local media reports said. “There’s no way to describe it other than horrific,” Lt Phil Cooke of the Santa Clara Police was quoted as saying.
The youngest victim was an 11-month-old girl who was alive when police came but later died at a hospital.
Investigators said the man lived at the recently rented house with his wife and two children,aged 11 and 4.
The other victims a young married couple and their daughter had recently arrived from India and are believed to be relatives of the alleged killer’s wife. The identities of the victims were not being immediately released as authorities sought to contact relatives.
“We’ve been working with the Indian Consulate office in San Francisco,” Lt Cooke said.
Investigators were yet to ascertain the motive but said financial issues did not appear to be a factor.
“It’s devastating for everybody involved,the victims,the community and the first responders,” said Cpt Mike Sellers. “Some of our officers performed CPR on the girl who was around 4 years old,but she was pronounced dead.”
Residents of the upscale community of Rivermark,where the shootings occurred,were horrified.
“I can’t imagine someone shooting little children. It’s awful,” neighbour Ivy Hopkins told San Francisco Chronicle.
Two handguns were found inside the residence,but police are awaiting the results of ballistics tests before determining whether one or both weapons were used.
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