Man killed ex-girlfriend’s parents before police fatally shot him, San Jose chief says
Josie Lepe/Bay Area News Group
SAN JOSE — A 24-year-old man went to a Willow Glen home and shot and killed his ex-girlfriend’s parents before he pointed a gun at police and was himself shot and killed by a SWAT officer, according to San Jose’s police chief.
The couple’s 13-year-old son was also inside the home but the gunman released him during the two-hour long confrontation which began at about 9 p.m. Wednesday night on Laura Ville Lane near downtown Willow Glen.
“It’s a tragic incident perpetrated by evil,” Police Chief Eddie Garcia said at a Thursday morning news conference. The chief said the man has a history of mental illness, domestic violence, and DUI.
The ex-girlfriend had an active criminal restraining order against the gunman, according to the chief. She was not in the house at the time. The relationship between the suspect and the couple’s daughter ended sometime last year, police said.
Garcia said detectives are still working to determine what motivated the suspect to fatally shoot the couple.
“One can infer it’s over a failed relationship,” Garcia said. “However, the extent of how that really got to this individual remains to be investigated an thoroughly vetted out.
“Obviously this relationship had something to do with this motive. We just don’t know the extent of it.’
Garcia said the 911 call was made by the couple’s adult son, who escaped the house once the gunman forced his way inside. When officers arrived, they discovered the father’s body at the front door. The adult son also told 911 dispatchers he believed his mother was also shot.
The 13-year-old son was inside the house, but was released. Officers began to try to talk the gunman into surrendering, Garcia said. Neighbors said they heard police repeatedly ask the man to “come out with your hands up.”
When he pointed a handgun from inside the house at officers outside, an officer with the MERGE unit — San Jose’s SWAT — shot and killed him. The officer, who has 17 years’ experience with San Jose police, was placed on routine paid administrative leave.
“It’s just a horrible, horrible crime,” Garcia said. “Again, dealing with someone who is mentally ill, who had choices. And he didn’t give this family choices. He didn’t give my officer a choice.”