(pictured above are the Lupoe Children)
LOS ANGELES, CA —Just a few hours ago, a Ervin Lupoe upset over job problems fatally shot his wife, five young children and himself at their harbor-area home Tuesday. Police said the victims included two sets of twins.
Shortly before the killings, the Mr. Lupoe faxed a letter to a TV station claiming that he and his wife had been fired from jobs as medical technicians and she suggested they kill themselves and their children, too.
"Why leave the children to a stranger?" the man wrote, according to KABC-TV.
KABC reported that the man claimed in the fax that a medical center administrator rebuffed them when they showed up to work, told them to file a union grievance and said, "You should have blown your brains out."
The man wrote that they filed a grievance but nothing was done and two days later they were fired, KABC said.
"They did nothing to the manager who started such and did not attempt to assist us in the matter, knowing we have no job and five children under 8 years old with no place to go. So here we are," the note said.
At the bottom of the note, the man wrote, "Oh lord, my God, is there no hope for a widow's son?"
The note said the couple worked at Kaiser Permanente West Los Angeles Medical Center, but police said they were trying to confirm that. A message seeking comment from the medical center was not immediately returned.
The family was not immediately identified. Police said the child victims were an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls and twin 2-year-old boys. It was the third mass slaying of a family in Southern California since fall.
"Today our worst fear was realized," said Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner. "It's just not a solution. There's just so many ways you find alternatives to doing something so horrific and drastic as this."
Police described the fax but did not release the detail reported by the KABC.
"He was going through some critical situation at the job, that's what he described in that two-page letter, ongoing problems at the job, and that's what prompted him to take his own life and his family, from what was said in the fax letter," Garner said.
The TV station called police after receiving the fax, and a police communications center also received a call from a man who stated, "'I just returned home and my whole family's been shot,"' Garner said.
"There is a disconnect but we believe our suspect is the one who called," Garner said.
Garner said a note was found in the home, but it was not clear if it was what had been faxed to the TV station.
Officers rushed to the two-story home in Wilmington, near the Port of Los Angeles, shortly before 8:30 a.m., apparently within minutes of the killings. Garner said the officers could still smell the gunshot residue.
The bodies of the girls and the father were in one bedroom. The mother and boys were in another bedroom.
Although the fax asserted that the woman was involved, police Lt. John Romero said, "It is apparent that the suspect in the murder is the male adult."
The two-story home, much larger than its one-story neighbors, sits in front of a railroad track in Wilmington, a 10-square-mile community about 18 miles south of downtown. A children's playset stood in the backyard and a pickup truck and sport utility vehicle were parked in the concrete front yard.
On Dec. 24, Bruce Pardo, 45, dressed up as Santa Claus and invaded a Christmas Eve party at his ex-wife's parents' home in suburban Covina, opened fire with a gun and set the house ablaze with racing fuel. Ex-wife Sylvia Pardo and eight relatives were fatally shot or burned. Pardo later killed himself.
In October, a 45-year-old unemployed financial manager despairing over extreme money problems shot and killed his wife, three children, mother-in-law and himself in their home in the Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley.
Karthik Rajaram wrote in a suicide letter he felt the honorable choice was to kill himself and his family instead of just himself, police said.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
(pictured above are the Lupoe Children)