Saturday, December 27, 2008

Santa Gunman Planned to Flee to Canada

The gunman dressed as Santa Claus who killed nine people Christmas Eve at a family party before turning the gun on himself had reportedly planned to escape to Canada, according to authorities.

Investigators looking into the mass murder at the house on Knollcrest Drive in Covina say that Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, was going to flee to Canada.

Police reported they discovered $17,000 in cash on Pardo and a plane ticket for a Dec. 25 flight departing from LAX to Canada. According to officials, Pardo was severely burned when he set the house on fire. He was found with 3rd degree burns to his arms and legs with the Santa suit burned into his skin. Police found Pardo dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his brother's home in Sylmar.

Police report Pardo apparently shot some of his nine victims execution-style in a plot to destroy his ex-wife's family after a costly divorce that was just finalized in the last week.

Several people who survived the attack were wounded and are in the hospital recovering from their injuries.

Pardo's ex-wife, 43-year-old Sylvia Ortega, and her parents, Joseph and Alicia Ortega, are considered among the dead, but the ensuing fire that Pardo set is making it difficult to identify bodies.

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