A man stinging from a bitter divorce went to his former in-laws' Christmas Eve party dressed as Santa, opened fire and methodically set their Covina house ablaze, killing at least eight people, authorities said Thursday.
The gunman killed himself hours later. Police identified him as Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, 45, a Southern California aerospace industry worker who may have recently lost his job.
The frenzied shooting occurred late Wednesday night at a two-story house on a cul-de-sac in Covina, about 22 miles east of Los Angeles. An 8-year-old girl ran to the door to answer Pardo's knock, police said. He shot her in the face, stepped into the house and began to fire indiscriminately with a semi-automatic handgun.
People who escaped the house got out by smashing through glass and jumping out of windows. One woman broke an ankle when she leapt from a second-floor window.
Police said Pardo later killed himself with a single gunshot to the head at his brother's home in Sylmar, a community in Los Angeles about 40 miles from the house in Covina.
This might be a prime time to once again discuss how guns don't kill people.