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Pomona Police Probe Fatal Shootings

Los Angeles

May 11, 2004|Erin Ailworth and William Wan | Times Staff Writer

Pomona police investigating the fatal shootings Sunday night of a woman and her husband, a Navy petty officer who had just returned from Iraq, said they are uncertain if the crime is a murder-suicide or a homicide.

Jose Magana, 25 and Maria Magana, 26, were found inside their home about 11:30 p.m., said police Sgt. Mark Warm. Both had gunshot wounds to the upper body.

Jose Magana died at the scene. His wife died at Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

Warm said police aren't sure whether a 911 call they received about the shooting came from Jose Magana.

The caller, who didn't identify himself said "his wife had been shot," Warm said. "This guy was hysterical when he was talking, hard to tell on tape what was being said."

At the house, police found the Maganas and a handgun, Warm said. Police would not explain why they suspect another person might be involved.

Jose Magana, a signalman and petty officer 2nd class, had just completed a year of service in Iraq. According to his sister, Lupe Magana, the young couple had married a year ago, before her brother left for Iraq. They moved into their Pomona house in the 600 block of Fellows Place about two weeks ago.

She said her family left Jose and Maria in good spirits Sunday after a Mother's Day gathering at their house.

"We left them fine ... and we don't really know what happened," said a weeping Lupe Magana, 29. "We don't understand, we don't know."

Neighbor Olivia Carmona, 42, said she awoke late Sunday night when officers knocked on her door.

Carmona, whose house is across the street from the Maganas', said she and neighbors had heard a loud, unfamiliar engine, like a truck, driving by late at night.

Neighbor David Duarte, 39, described the Maganas as "regular people" who "seemed like they would be so happy together in their new house."

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