Motive examined in Southern California shootings
LOS ANGELES — One day after a shooting rampage in the San Fernando Valley left four dead and three injured, authorities are trying to sort out what prompted the string of violence.
Los Angeles police say Gerry Dean Zaragoza, 26, first shot his father, mother and brother at their home in Canoga Park in the middle of the night, then shot a woman he reportedly knew a few miles away.
After that, the rampage appears to have turned random, authorities said.
“He didn’t even talk to his last victim,” said LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes, who oversees the department’s Robbery-Homicide Division. “It doesn’t look like there was any interaction between them.”
The violence brought a huge police presence to the Valley and left residents shaken.
LAPD Deputy Chief Kris Pitcher, who oversees detectives, said authorities have not identified a motive in the shootings.
“Getting the suspect into custody was the priority,” he said, adding that detectives will now focus on building a case to submit to prosecutors.
Authorities say Zaragoza attacked his family inside their apartment in Canoga Park. His 50-year-old father and 20-year-old brother were fatally shot. His mother suffered a gunshot wound and was taken to a hospital in stable condition, police said.
Authorities are not sure why he opened fire on his family.
After leaving his family’s home, police say Zaragoza opened fire outside a Shell gas station in North Hollywood. When police arrived, they found a man and a woman suffering from gunshot wounds.