An upscale apartment in a normally peaceful neighborhood in San Jose was still reeling Monday after a domestic dispute that turned into a double murder and suicide.
Police said the killer shot a security guard and then his wife before killing himself.
The shooting took place near the entrance of an apartment building within the sprawling Crescent Circle complex in North San Jose around 1 a.m. Sunday.
Vishnu Vithana, who lives above the entrance, says his wife heard the shots and screaming first.
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“She thought she heard gunshots outside, she heard someone crying and wailing and stuff so she woke me up. I told her maybe she was having a bad dream; that’s the moment I woke up and as I was saying that I heard another gunshot,” said Vithana.
Police say what they heard was a husband and wife arguing and the first shot was the husband shooting a responding security guard.
“I’m sure he’s trying to do the right thing, sees somebody in distress and wants to go help and intervene, and, unfortunately, the suspect committed a heinous act and killed him,” said Sgt. Christian Camarillo, spokesman for the San Jose Police Department.
Police said the husband then shot his wife before killing himself. All of their six children were still inside a nearby apartment.
“Those kids are going to need support and help more than anything,” said Camarillo. “Very traumatic experience.”
The complex manager issued a statement expressing deep sadness for the lives lost and offering counseling to employees.
Police said there was no known history of domestic violence with the couple but point out the husband, who had one prior burglary conviction, used a gun with the serial number scratched off, making it hard to trace.
“It is really sad and scary that people have access to guns so easily that a domestic dispute could lead to a loss of life so quickly, and unknown people also get shot,” said Vithana.
The medical examiner had not released the names of those killed; the six children were placed in the custody of their maternal grandmother.