Killer’s motive a mystery, tribal police chief says
Hector Celaya had reported thefts and once was falsely accused of DUI.
PORTERVILLE, CALIF. — Authorities were trying Monday to determine what prompted a man to kill four family members and wound two others on a rural Indian reservation in California.
Hector Celaya, 31, had had contact with police but given no indication he would go on a shooting rampage on the Tule River Indian Reservation, tribal Police Chief Mike Blain said.
“We need to go back and find what brought us to this,” Blain said. “Did we miss something? Did the community or family miss something?”
Police say Celaya opened fire Saturday night, killing his mother, two uncles and a daughter. Two of Cela- ya’s other children were wounded in the shooting.
Authorities later cornered him on a country road in the middle of citrus orchards 30 miles from the reservation. In the car with Celaya were two daughters: Alyssa, 8, who had life-threatening gunshot injuries, and Linea, 5, who also was seriously hurt.
Celaya opened fire on deputies, was shot in the return fire, then died hours later at a hospital, Douglass said.
By Sunday night, authorities confirmed Alyssa also had died.
Authorities have not disclosed what motivated Celaya to kill his relatives.
Blain said he had reported thefts to police and was once accused of driving under the influence with his children in the car. Police determined that claim was part of a child custody dispute and without merit.
Police found three dead adults at this compound in the Tule River Indian Reservation.