Warrants in Covina massacre reveal frightening first moments of fear

Reporter Will Bingham of the Daily Bulletin dug up the warrants in Pomona. Amanda Baumfeld put together a look inside the investigation of Bruce Pardo’s rampage on Christmas Eve in Covina. Here’s an excerpt:

COVINA – Just before midnight, the Christmas Eve party at the Ortega home hit full stride when a partygoer announced “Santa is here!”
Santa Claus, clad in a fake beard and wearing the kind of protective eyewear often used at a shooting range, produced a 9mm handgun and indiscriminately opened fire on the Christmas celebration, according to search warrants unsealed in Pomona Superior Court this week.
“I think there is probably a couple reasons (Pardo wore them),” Covina police Lt. Tim Doonan said. “Santa wears glasses … on the other hand he may of been thinking of protecting his eyes.”

Here’s the warrants: Link:Covina Christmas Massacre Search Warrants

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Pardo was high on Coke during massacre

An autopsy of Bruce Pardo revealed he was high on cocaine when he shot and killed nine people on Christmas Eve.

Pardo tested positive for cocaine in toxicology reports of his blood and urine, according to a recently released autopsy report by the Los Angles County Department of Coroner.

“A lot would depend on the blood level (of cocaine),” said Police Chief Kim Raney. “It could’ve been something to drive him, to amp him up to get him through that.”

On Christmas Eve, Pardo , dressed as Santa Claus, shot and killed his ex-wife Sylvia Pardo , her parents Joseph and Alicia Ortega and six other family members. He then torched the Knollcrest Drive home where the victims had gathered for an annual holiday celebration.

Pardo later shot himself to death inside his brother’s home in Sylmar.

There are some other interesting details in the report 

Continue reading “Pardo was high on Coke during massacre” »

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Brothers suspected in Covina attack

Something about this case struck a nerve in Covina. I’ve had tons of phone calls about the neighborhood, which is an apparently drug and gang infested portion of Covina that gets little in the way of daily police attention.

Cops first described the victim Ocie May as a transient, but his family, residents of Covina, insisted that Ocie was anything but a transient.

Witnesses said they called and offered police information after the slaying but were never contacted by detectives.

The suspects’ sister insists her brothers are innocent and have been set up.

Here’s the story:

COVINA – A pair of brothers have been arrested in connection with the shooting death of a man in a dark alley, authorities said Monday.

Arrested on suspicion of murder were Arnett and Wakeem Ghoston, police said.

Killed was Ocie Daniel May, 26, a Covina resident.

Arnett was being held in lieu of $1 million, according to Los Angeles County jail records. Joaquin had not been booked as of 7:30 p.m. Monday.

“We’ve got the two in custody,” Covina police Sgt. Rick Walczak said.

The arrest of two men in connection with the shooting matches a description provided by a witness to the shooting Monday.

May, 26, was slain in an alleyway in the 600 block of East Ruddock Street. Police said the killing followed an altercation that occurred about 8 p.m. Thursday.

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Sex offender arrested after kiddie porn uncovered in Covina church

During a 2007 remodeling of the presbyterian Church in Covina, workers uncovered several disturbing images of child pornography,

A subsequent FBI investigation led to a registered sex offender who was living at working at an auto repair shop in town.

The sex offender, Richard Welton, 47, is now behind bars in federal custody.

Here’s the FBI docs from the case:



Welton has a long criminal history that includes making obscene phone calls from churches claiming to have abducted a young girl.

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Thursday fish wrap

Octomom update: She’s out of the hospital and news crews are fleeing toward her home in Whittier. State wants to know how she got so pregnant..

Landlord wants rent from massacre victim. Local media picked this one up…interesting take on Fox 11 this a.m. — reporter led with “This story, if accurate, …”

Another teen attacked in Baldwin Park..

Jerry Brown speaks at the Quiet Canon. He thinks federal bailout money should be applied to criminal justice programs in California.

Suspect hits deputy with vehicle in Rosemead after dispute over iPOD.

Woman has her purse taken as she stands in front of home.

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Burglars don new fashion accessory

It wasn’t on the runway at Paris, Milan or New York, but the earpieces worn by a pair of suspected Covina burglars seem to be the must have fasion accessory of the season.

Here’s what we know:

COVINA – A man and a woman were arrested for suspicion of burglary Wednesday morning after  they were caught with burglary tools and looking into cars with flashlights, police said.

The couple appeared to be communicating with each other using a two-way magnifying ear piece, which allowed them to hear each other just by whispering, officials said.

Steven Phillips, 24, of Covina, and Leicia Wright, 29, of West Covina, were arrested in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 1100 block of Conwell in Covina at 3:30 a.m. Police initially received a call of suspicious persons, and continued to do some surveillance of the area.

Police then saw somebody using a flashlight to look into cars in the parking lot and upon contacting Phillips, found burglary tools in his possession, said Lt. John Curley.

“We had, in the past couple months, some vehicles broken into over there,” Curley said.

“It might be something purchased at a radio communication store,” Curley said. “I don’t think it was anything hi-tech.”

The pair are being held on investigation of burglary, Curley said.


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Details emerge in Wilmington massacre

The proliferation of despondent adults killing their families in recent months took a turn for the worse Tuesday morning in Wilmington, where a family was shot to death by a father and husband who then turned the gun on himself.

Ervin Lupoe, 40, killed his wife, two sets of twins and another child before turning a gun on himself in the tiny town near the port.

Prior to the massacre, Lupoe sent a fax to KABC detailing his misery. Apparently, Lupoe and his wife had been fired from Kaiser for some sort of impropriety.

Here’s the closing paragraph of his letter:

“So after a horrendous ordeal my wife felt it better to end our lives and why leave our children in someone’s else’s hands, in addition it seems Kiaser Permanente want’s us to kill ourselves and take our family with us. They did nothing to the manager who stated such, and did not attempt to assist us in the matter, knowing we have no job and 5 children under 8 years with no place to go. So here we are.

“Ervin Lupoe

“(Handwritten:) Oh Lord my God is there no hope for a widow’s son!”

Here’s the latest story on the massacre from the Torrance Daily Breeze, and an excerpt:

Lupoe placed calls to the news desk at KABC Channel 7 and the LAPD’s 911 center just before shooting himself at the family’s home in the 1000 block of North McFarland Avenue, police said.

All of the victims were shot in the head, as was Lupoe, police said. Some of the family members were shot more than once.

Lupoe, an X-ray technician at the medical center, wrote in his letter that a supervisor rebuffed him when he tried to talk about his job status, suggesting,

“You should have blown your brains out.”

LAPD is handling the investigation. Covina police, who handled a similar case on Christmas Eve, have not been contacted for assistance or advice, officials said Tuesday.

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Slurpees and Slim Jims?

This comes from an instant message I received in the office, I believe the story will run in the Ontario Daily Bulletin:


MONTCLAIR — Police arrested a suspected prostitute and two men this morning after the woman traded sex acts for 7-Eleven merchandise.

A Montclair officer spotted Juliya Rogova, 21, of Montclair shopping inside the store in the 4500 block of Holt Boulevard. Rogova, who police say is a known prostitute, grabbed a large amount of merchandise and then walked into the store bathroom with a 7-Eleven clerk.

Rogova and the clerk, Raymundo Garcia, 24, of Montclair, exited the bathroom about six minutes later, police said. Rogova grabbed the store items and walked outside.

Ricardo Huerta, 38, of Covina, a Coca-Cola vendor working inside the store, then followed Rogova outside to talk to her. Police said the pair came back into the store and Rogova re-entered the restroom. Huerta joined her in the bathroom after using the store’s ATM.

Police arrested all three people after Huerta and Rogova exited the bathroom about five minutes later.

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Ortega family memorials

COVINA – The police department announced funeral arrangements for nine members of the Ortega family who were killed during the Christmas Massacre.

A prayer vigil is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, 724 E. Bonita Avenue in San Dimas.

Friday, a funeral mass will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church. It will be followed by a procession to the grave site at Forest Law Memorial Park, 21300 Via Verde in Covina.

Following the burial , a reception is planned for 2 p.m. at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 344 W. Workman Avenue in Covina.

Nine members of the family were killed on Christmas Eve when Bruce Pardo dressed as Santa Claus burst into their holiday party and opened fire. Pardo, whose ex-wife and in-laws were at the party, then sprayed fuel into the house, setting it on fire.

Pardo, who was badly burned in the attack, later killed himself.

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