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Woman Killed in Van Nuys Shooting

December 03, 2002|Carol Chambers and Andrew Blankstein | Times Staff Writers

A 28-year-old man fatally shot his wife at a Van Nuys apartment complex Monday afternoon before he shot and critically injured himself, Los Angeles police said.

The shooting was witnessed by the couple's 9-year-old daughter who ran to a neighbor's apartment for help, crying, "Daddy shot Mommy and then shot himself," police said.

The shooting was reported about 3:15 p.m. in the 6800 of North Sepulveda Boulevard near Vanowen Street, a neighborhood lined with motels and apartment buildings.

The 26-year-old woman, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, was pronounced dead in a ground-floor unit of the Bonita Apartments complex.

"The wife was shot by the husband with a .22-caliber rifle before he turned the gun on himself," Los Angeles police Officer Jason Lee said.

A neighbor said that the couple were separated and the woman had been staying with her uncles in the apartment for about three months.

The man, whose name was not immediately released, was taken to Northridge Hospital Medical Center where he was listed in critical condition late Monday.

He and the woman appeared to be in their mid-20s, police said.

The 9-year-old and a 4-year-old daughter, were placed in the custody of Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.

Neighbors arriving home a few hours after the shooting found police patrol cars and a coroner's car in the parking lot and yellow crime-scene tape strung across the entrance to the building.

"I just came home from work and I was really surprised to see all the police cars," said Isai Garrido, 21.

"This is a pretty quiet place. We don't get a lot of disturbances here."

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