Police detain one man, seek motive in LA family shooting

CBS News
CBS News

(CBS/AP) DOWNEY, Calif. - Authorities say a man held for questioning matches the description of a gunman who killed three people and critically wounded two others at a family-owned fire extinguisher business and a relative's nearby home in suburban Los Angeles.

The man was one of four people detained and questioned Thursday, Downey Police Lt. Dean Milligan said. The other three, two men and a woman, were released after detectives determined they had no connection to the shootings.

The gunman doesn't appear to be a former employee, friend or family member of the victims, Milligan said. Police, however, said they don't believe the killings were a random act of violence.

Authorities also recovered a stolen black Chevrolet Camaro, which they say the attacker used to get away after the shootings.

Milligan identified the three people who were killed as Josimar Rojas, 26, Irene Cardenas, 35, and Susana Perez-Ruelas, 34.

Rojas and Cardenas were killed at the business, United States Fire Protection Services Inc., where another woman was wounded, the Los Angeles Times reported. She remains in stable condition.

The gunman then went to the home of the business owner a few blocks away and killed Perez-Ruelas and wounded her 13-year-old son.

Police said the deadly encounter began around midday Wednesday and that someone called from the business to reporting a shooting.

A few minutes after police arrived, a 13-year-old boy called dispatchers from the family house just down the street, authorities said, where the second shooting happened.

A female secretary and a male employee were killed at the business, according to Wright. At the family's home, the shooter killed the wife of one of the brothers, he said.

The woman and teenager were originally at the business, but somehow got to the home in the Camaro before being shot, according to police. Police don't know whether they drove themselves or were kidnapped by the suspect.

There was no sign of forced entry at either location and police believe the suspect spoke with the victims at both locations before the shooting began. The teen victim, however, did not recognize the gunman, Milligan has said.