Rivermark Shooter Was Yahoo! Engineer

Santa Clara police identified the victims and alleged gunman  in a grisly murder-suicide Sunday night and provided a glimpse into the  "difficult family dynamics" that spiraled into violence and claimed six lives.

Tuesday night, dozens from the Rivermark neighborhood came to the doorsteps of the home carrying flowers, candles and thoughts for the victims. Many brought their children.  They said even though they didn't know the family because they had just moved in, they wanted to do something in their honor.
Police and paramedics were called to a town home at 4350 Headen  Way around 8:30 p.m. Sunday after a woman stumbled bleeding from the home and  asked a neighbor to call for help, saying her husband had shot her and that other victims were inside.

Six people, including the alleged gunman, were found shot in the  home's kitchen and dining room area. All six died of their injuries, and the  woman remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Police Lt. Phil Cooke identified the alleged gunman as  42-year-old Devan Kalathat.   Kalathat worked in information technology at Yahoo and there was  no reason to believe his job was in jeopardy, Cooke said.

Kalathat is believed to have shot and injured his wife, whose name  has not been released, and killed the couple's son and daughter, 11-year-old  Akhil Dev and 4-year-old Negha Dev.

He also shot and killed his brother-in-law, Ashok Appu  Poothemkandi, 35; Poothemkandi's wife, 25-year-old Suchitra Sivaraman; and  the couple's 11-month-old daughter Ahana Ashok, Cooke said.

The Times of India newspaper spoke to the father of one of the victims.

"My son-in-law Devarajan had a quarrel with my son Ashokan and shot everyone in the family including my son, daughter-in-law Suchitra, their child Neha, my daughter Aabha and their children Akhil and Ahaana yesterday (Monday) night in the US during dinner," Tamil Nadu told the paper.

They also published video with photos of the victims.

Other news reports in India indicate the killings happened after an argument between the alleged shooter and his brother-in-law during dinner.

Kalathat shot his family members with two .45-caliber  semi-automatic pistols he had bought recently. Both guns were purchased  legally, one in February and one about two weeks ago in local gun stores,  Cooke said.

Cooke said he was not able to say whether Kalathat's wife is  expected to survive. He said police are not releasing some details of the  investigation "with her rights in mind."

Police are still investigating the motive but Cooke said the  murders didn't appear to be rooted in financial problems, and that the motive  was likely related to "family dynamics and personal relationships."

When asked if police are investigating any history of domestic  violence, Cooke said that effort is "a work in progress."

Kalathat and his wife had just moved to the town home, which is  part of the Rivermark development, from Sunnyvale, where their son and  daughter were enrolled in fifth grade and preschool at the Challenger School.  All family members are American citizens.

The wife's brother, Poothemkandi, and his family were visiting  from India and Poothemkandi had just started working at Hewlett-Packard,  Cooke said, on a project expected to last a year. They arrived the first week  of March, Cooke said, and were not staying at the house on Headen Way.

Poothemkandi and his family resided in the state of Tamil Nadu, in  the southernmost part of the country, according to Ashoka Sinha of the  Consulate General of India's office in San Francisco. The family is  originally from the neighboring state of Kerala, he said.

A relative is traveling to the United States. The Santa  Clara County medical examiner's office will not make any official  declarations of the victims' identities until family arrives.

Assistant Chief of Police  Kevin Kyle expressed sorrow for the victims and their families and praised  the actions of the city's emergency responders. Kyle said firefighters and  paramedics who arrived on the scene rushed into the home to try to stabilize  and rescue the victims, "without knowing the whereabouts or intent of the  gunman."
Kyle said it is a general belief among police officers that the  worst crimes to witness are ones involving violence to children.

"Multiply this several times over," he said of the officers who  arrived to investigate the scene inside the town house.

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