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Simi Valley woman allegedly killed by son once had restraining order

August 26, 2013|By Joseph Serna

A mother allegedly killed by her son in Simi Valley before he was gunned down by police once had a temporary restraining order against him for domestic violence, court records show.

In August 2008, a Ventura County judge granted Sally Ann Carnan a temporary restraining order against her son, Ryan William Carnan, according to court records. Details of the filing were not immediately available.

That was the same year, according to Simi Valley police, that officers last visited the Carnan household for a mental health check, Simi Valley police officials said.

Among other times police were dispatched to the home in the 1100 block of Mellow Lane over the years, two other instances were also for mental health checks, Simi Valley police said Monday.

Police have been searching for a motive since Ryan Carnan allegedly killed his mother, set fire to the house the two shared, then drove his tractor through the neighborhood, indiscriminately firing at neighbors before he was shot to death by police Saturday.

Officers confronted Carnan, 29, after they received a call about 4:45 p.m. Saturday from a man who identified himself as Carnan’s brother. He reported that Carnan had called him, saying he had killed their mother at their home.

Sally Carnan died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, said Sheila Murphy, a spokeswoman for the Ventura County Health Care Agency.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the house on fire, police said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and discovered a dead woman believed to be Sally Carnan, 67.

While officers were still at the burning home, police began receiving reports of a man -- later identified as Ryan Carnan -- driving a tractor through the nearby neighborhood and firing a handgun, police said.

A SWAT unit confronted, then fatally shot the man after he fired at them, police said. No officers were injured.

Based on information gathered from their investigation, police believe incendiary devices may have been inside the Carnan home, and the Ventura County bomb squad was called to the scene, according to the police statement.

Area residents were evacuated from the neighborhood while the home was searched. Police did not say what, if anything, was found.

A family spokesman issued a statement to reporters at the scene.

“We want everyone to kind of respect the fact that they’re dealing with the loss of their mother and their brother,” the spokesman told reporters. “If you could just give them some privacy, that’s really all we’re asking for.”

Carnan had been discharged from the military about five years ago, about the time his father died of cancer, NBC4 reported.

“Our hearts definitely go out to the family, such a tragic event,” said Ron Todo, an assistant superintendent for the Simi Valley Unified School District.

Sally Carnan had worked in the school district for 10 years, her last five at Santa Susana High School as the attendance clerk, Todo said.

“From all reports, she was just a wonderful, giving, loving individual,” Todo said.

Through social media, students on their own set up a memorial for Sally Carnan outside the campus over the weekend, Todo said. It remained there Monday morning when students and faculty arrived.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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