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BABBO NATALE A LOS ANGELES, AUMENTA IL BILANCIO DELLE VITTIME SONO 6 I MORTI.

Los Angeles 26.12.08(corsera.it) Bruce Jeffrey Pardo l'uomo che si era travestito da Babbo Natale avrebbe ammazzato 6 persone ad un party in una villa di Los Angeles.Il triste epilogo per un gesto di follia  all'origine del quale forse la gelosia per la ex moglie con la quale aveva divorziato soltanto in Settembre.Gravemente feriti anch dei minori.
A distraught man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire at a Christmas Eve party and then apparently set the house ablaze, killing at least three people, police officials said. Several hours later, the shooter killed himself.

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, knocked on the front door of a home on the 1100 block of Knollcrest Drive in Covina around 11:30 Wednesday night, said Covina Police Lt. Pat Buchanan. Thought to be someone hired to entertain children at the party, Pardo was let in the house and immediately opened fire with a handgun, Buchanan said.

Partygoers fled the house in panic, running to neighbors' homes and frantically calling police. One woman, according to a neighbor who later helped her, leapt out of a second floor window, badly injuring her ankle. An 8-year-old girl with a gunshot wound to the face and a 16-year-old girl shot in the back escaped the house and were transported to local hospitals, officials said.

Pardo, whose wife divorced him in September, according to court records, "was apparently going through a bad time in his marriage," Buchanan said. The party, he added, was at the house of a relative of Pardo's ex-wife.

Jeannie Goltz, who has lived on the placid, middle-class street for a decade, walked from her house toward the chaos after hearing the wail of sirens. She and another neighbor intercepted the young woman with the ankle injury and two others as they ran down the street in a panic. One of them, talking frantically on his cellphone, said, "He shot up my family," according to Goltz.

Police officials said it was unclear whether the ex-wife, Sylvia Pardo, was at the party when the attack occurred or whether she was one of the injured. Partygoers, however, told Goltz she was in the house at the time.

Robin Myers, 50, who lives with her mother in the house behind the victim's, was inside working on her computer when the attack happened.

"I heard an explosion and I went out to investigate because it was pretty loud," Myers said. "I went outside and saw a wall of flames."

The two-story house, located at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, was fully engulfed by fire, Los Angeles County Fire officials said. About 80 firefighters were initially kept at bay by police who feared that the gunman was still in the area. They battled flames that soared 40 to 50 feet high for an hour and a half before extinguishing the fire, according to Capt. Mike Brown.

"It was a very dynamic situation," he said.

Buchanan said police and fire officials were not certain how the fire started but were looking into the possibility that Pardo threw some sort of incendiary device in the house.

After the fire was out, police peering into what had been the front room saw three bodies, Buchanan said. The Associated Press quoted an official from the coroner's office as saying that the remains of "several" more bodies had been found in the wreckage. Buchanan could not confirm those reports, saying only that some people thought to have attended the party remained unaccounted for and that "there is a good possibility that there are other people inside."

Shortly before 3:30 a.m., Pardo's brother summoned Los Angeles police to his Sylmar home -- about 25 miles away from the carnage. Officers arrived to find Pardo dead from a single gunshot to the head, police officials said.

On a blustery, overcast Christmas morning Frank Castillo, 46, stood at the yellow police tape in Covina, trying unsuccessfully to obtain information about relatives he said had been at the party.

Castillo said a family member had called to tell him that his former sister-in-law, Sylvia Castillo, in her 30s, had died in the attack. His nephew, Sal Castillo, 19, whom family members called Baby Sal, and a niece, Selina Castillo, were also in the house, he said.

"I want to make sure my nephew and niece are OK," he said, choking back tears.

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com


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