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Family Dispute Blamed in Murder-Suicide That Killed 4

April 11, 2001|KURT STREETER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A gunman who killed three people and then committed suicide in a Bellflower condominium may have gone into a rage after a dispute with his brother-in-law, authorities said Tuesday.

Los Angeles County sheriff's homicide detectives, continuing to piece together what happened inside the two-story residence, released the names of the gunman and his victims.

Investigators identified the gunman as Mark H. Broome, 31. Broome is believed to have shot and killed his wife, Jane Lu Broome, 25; her brother, Wee Te Lu, 32; and her brother's girlfriend, Jaih Choi, who investigators say was in her early 30s.

Wee Te Lu owned the stucco condominium and lived there with his sister and Broome, who were in the process of getting a divorce.

The incident started late Monday morning as Broome got into a heated argument with his brother-in-law, said Sheriff's Lt. Don Bear.

Lu had a business that employed Broome, and their argument was a job-related dispute, said Bear, who would not give details on Lu's business.

"Their relationship was not the world's best," said Bear. "There was a lot of tension. And there was also a lot of tension because the couple was divorcing."

Bear said investigators gained insight into what happened from Jane Lu Broome's father, who was at the residence during the argument but left before the shooting began.

Bear said Broome, using a handgun, shot and killed Wee Te Lu and his girlfriend in a bedroom on the second floor of the condo.

Broome shot his wife on the second floor, Bear said, but she survived the initial attack, fled downstairs and called police on a cordless phone. Speaking to a dispatcher, Jane Lu Broome begged for help. As she spoke, the dispatcher could hear the repeated pop of gunfire in the background.

"Then there was nothing," said Bear. "No sound."

When deputies arrived, they found the couple dead in a hallway between the kitchen and living room. A gun lay at Broome's side. Investigators say he had shot himself in the head. The other victims were found dead on a bed upstairs.

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