Gunman in Santa suit kills 3, takes own life
- Story Highlights
- NEW: Suspected gunman found death at relative's house, police say
- Police: Girl, 8, and woman in her 20s hospitalized with gunshot wounds
- Authorities investigating fire set at home where shooting took place
- Los Angeles-area shooting happened late on Christmas Eve
LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) -- The prime suspect in a Christmas Eve shooting and fire that left three people dead in a Los Angeles suburb has committed suicide, police said Thursday.
Authorities had been searching for Bruce Jeffery Pardo, 45, after a man dressed as Santa Claus showed up and started shooting at a party at a house in Covina, California.
Pardo's body was discovered at a relative's home in the nearby suburb of Sylmar, and authorities have made a positive identification, said Lt. Pat Buchanan of the Covina Police Department. Buchanan said Pardo was the prime suspect in the Christmas Eve shooting.
Police believe the residence where the shootings occurred belongs to another of Pardo's relatives, Buchanan said. The house was burning when police arrived. Watch police describe what happened
Three people were found dead inside. Police have not said how they died, nor have they released their identities.
An 8-year-old girl and a woman in her 20s were hospitalized with gunshot wounds that authorities do not consider life-threatening.
Crews took a third person to a hospital with an injury that wasn't life-threatening and wasn't caused by gunfire, said police in Covina, a city about 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.
The shooting started around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"There was some source of ignition that caused the fire," Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan said at a news conference Thursday morning. "We've not been able to identify it yet."
Authorities said Pardo's name was given to them by people who were at the party. Pardo was "going through some type of marital problems," spokesman Buchanan said.
According to police, the gunman changed out of the Santa suit and into regular clothes before leaving.