Five killed in San Jose murder-suicide
SAN JOSE — What appeared to be a harrowing standoff Sunday night ended with the discovery of one of the deadliest shootings in San Jose history: Five were people killed, including the suspect, in what police described as a quadruple murder-suicide.
San Jose police confirmed Monday morning that three women and one man were shot to death by a man who then killed himself, in what appears to be a family or domestic conflict, based on the initial emergency calls to police.
None of the victims were immediately named by authorities Monday, pending their formal identification and notification of their next of kin. Police also released a grim figure Monday morning: the killings marked the city’s 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th homicides of the year.
The suspect was described as a Vietnamese man in his 60s, and he has no criminal history in Santa Clara County outside of an unspecified charge in 1997 for which details were not immediately available, according to public and court records. His wife and 17-year-old daughter were among several family members who were able to escape the home when the gunfire began, according to witness accounts told to police.
The suspect was confirmed to be dead around 1:25 a.m. Monday, according to law enforcement sources. Hours earlier, officers responded to multiple 911 calls Sunday around 8:40 p.m. about a shooting on Habbitts Court, off Senter Road near the Santa Clara County fairgrounds.
According to police dispatch recordings archived online, San Jose police got several reports of gunfire, with at least one person telling of “six gunshots and subjects in a verbal” altercation.
That was soon followed by a report from a key witness revealing the first glimpses of the violent episode.
“The (suspect’s) wife confirmed she witnessed her husband shoot her brother and her sister,” the dispatcher broadcasted to responding officers.
Police received later reports of more gunfire, and at least one description of “a female and a juvenile screaming.” Some of the people who fled the gunshots found safe haven at neighbors’ homes.
San Jose police spokeswoman Officer Gina Tepoorten said those officers got to the cul-de-sac and immediately encountered a hectic scene, with bloodied victims and family members fleeing from the home.
“When officers arrived on scene, two adults exited the residence suffering from at least one gunshot wound each,” Tepoorten said.
The wounded victims were evacuated from the shooting scene in the police department’s Bearcat armored vehicle. They were rushed to a hospital, where both died soon after, Tepoorten said.
But after accounting for the people who ran out of the home, police determined there were two people still missing.
As officers surrounded the residence, police tried to contact the shooter and assess whether more people were inside, Tepoorten said. Officers from the MERGE unit — San Jose’s version of SWAT — also responded to the scene. Around 9:30 p.m., a police negotiator hurried past the police cordon on Umbarger Road toward the residence. Shortly after, the department’s Tactical Negotiation Unit arrived at the scene.
The suspect did not respond and appeared to barricade himself inside, police said, but responding officers were recorded telling dispatchers it was possible that he might have already been wounded.
Around five hours after the first 911 call, officers entered the home and found the suspected shooter dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, and also discovered the bodies of the two women who had not been accounted for, police said.
Anyone with information for investigators about the case can contact SJPD Detective Sgt. T.J. Lewis or Detective Brian Meeker at 408-2775283 or leave a tip with Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408-947-STOP or at
A member of the San Jose Police Department photographs a truck near the scene where five people were killed in an apparent murdersuicide on Habbitts Court on Monday in San Jose.