Family involved in murder-suicide

Police handle bomb threat in Wood Ranch

A man, woman and dog were found dead in a Wood Ranch home on the evening of Nov. 7.

The gunman killed his mother, who was visiting from the Las Vegas area, before turning the gun on himself. He lived in the home with his aunt, who was the sister of his mother, and her husband.

The aunt’s husband “returned home after work and found [the mother] lying on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood” at approximately 6:54 p.m. and contacted 911, according to the police report. Medics and fire department personnel concluded the mother died from a gunshot wound.

First responders then found a message on the gunman’s bedroom door stating “bomb inside don’t open explosion.”

“Once we were notified about the bomb threat, then what happens is there’s a transition from a death investigation to a bomb threat investigation which is handled [differently],” Commander of Simi Valley Police Department Steve Shorts said.

Police secured the area and called the SWAT team, negotiation team, Simi Valley bomb canine unit and Ventura County Sheriff’s Department bomb squad. It was later confirmed by the Ventura County bomb squad that no bomb was in the building.

Investigators found a deceased man and dog in the room where the threat was posted. Authorities say both suffered from fatal gunshot wounds.

“We determined that there was not an explosive device inside the residence, but we located the suspect who was deceased of an obvious self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Shorts said.

Police also evacuated 47 residents to a local shopping center, while closing Fairfield Road between Valley Crest Road and Lake Park Dr. North.

“We obviously decided what a safe perimeter is,” Shorts said. “The local shopping center was within the area but not within the critical zone where we were trying to mitigate the bomb threat. We had everyone else in the area shelter in place.”

In his career, Shorts has dealt with murder-suicides before. He noticed that these incidents normally occur between people involved in close relationships.

“You have a damaged family that is going to take a long time to move past this critical incident. The impact on it is huge and that’s the sad part about it,” Shorts said.

The investigation to find the cause of the incident is ongoing.

“Pretty involved in terms of there is a lot of blood at the scene, but we don’t have any further information beyond that,” Shorts said.