*We had some technical difficulties running the Covina police press conference live. Here’s a videotape of the event:
At a 2 p.m. press conference Covina police Chief Kim Raney assembled a portrait of Bruce Pardo that seemed to indicate his attack was carefully planned.
Pardo and his wife Sylvia had settled a contentious divorce just last Thursday, Raney said.
Here’s some excerpts from Raney’s briefing:
At 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, the family in the Knollcrest home had gathered for their annual Christmas party.
Pardo, driving a small, compact car parked at a neighbor’s home. Wearing a Santa suit, Pardo approached the home with a homemade flame thrower that utilized oxygen or CO2 and racing fuel.
Pardo gained entry to the house and was approached by an 8-year-old girl who thought she was greeting Santa.
“He shot her in the face,” Raney said.
Pardo was armed with four handguns. All were emptied in the commission of the crime.
Pardo shot indiscriminately, Raney said.
There were intended targets in the home, among them Pardo’s ex wife and in-laws.
The explosion that resulted from Pardo’s homemade device caused him to have 3rd degree burns on both arms. The Santa suit melted to his body, Raney said.
He then drove to Sylmar and took his own life.
Investigators found $17,000 in case saranwrapped to Pardo’s leg. He also had a plane ticket for a flight from LAX to Canada.
“He didn’t anticipate being injured,” Raney said.
Pardo worked at JPL in the 80s and 90s. He was recently laid off from a job elsewhere. Following the layoff, Pardo left the area and may have traveled to the midwest or east coast.
It is unclear how long he had planned the crime spree.
There was no restraining order in the divorce case, Raney said.
Pardo had no military experience.
A resume found at his Montrose home indicated Pardo claimed to have both a BA and MA in Electrical Engineering.
Ed Winter, speaking for the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said that nine bodies recovered int he home were burned and charred and “not recognizable.”
“We haven’t determined if the cause of death was due to a gunshot wound or becaseu of the fire.”