Bruce Pardo’s anger turned deadly at a Christmas Eve party in Covina, California. After plotting revenge on his ex-wife, Pardo killed six people before turning the gun on himself hours later while dressed as Santa.
Pardo showed up at his former in-laws Wednesday night on a mission of death. Six people were gunned down and three are now missing. The three missing are his ex-wife and her parents. They are feared to be in the ashes of the house which Pardo set ablaze using a homemade device which sprayed flammable liquid.
The 45-year-old Pardo had never been in trouble with the law before. He is said to have been extremely angry about his divorce settlement from a marriage that lasted just a year.
In years past a neighbour played the role of Santa but he had moved away this year. Pardo went to his former in-laws dressed as Santa. He knew that the yearly Christmas party was a favorite of the family.
An eight-year-old answered Pardo’s knock on the door. The child never knew what hit her as Pardo pulled a handgun out of what appeared to be a large present shooting her in the face. As the other 25 or so partygoers attempted to flee Pardo started firing into the crowd.
The child and two others, a 16-year-old shot in the back and a 20-year-old who broke her ankle jumping out of a second story window, are expected to recover. That can not be said for six others who died at his hands.
The box Pardo was carrying was a device that sprayed a liquid that quickly set the home ablaze. Pardo was a recent employee in the aerospace industry.
Three charred bodies were found in the morning after the blaze was put out. It is not known yet if they died from the fire or from being shot. None of the dead or missing have been identified.
Pardo quickly discarded the Santa suit and drove to his brother’s empty home. Early Thursday morning the police were called to the home when Pardo was discovered dead with a single bullet to the head.
Bruce Jeffrey Pardo had planned to flee to Canada after shooting up his former in-laws Christmas party. Police found a plane ticket to Canada and $17,000 on his body Thursday.
Pardo was aware of the family’s tradition of a huge Christmas Eve party. CNN reports:
Referring to Pardo, Buchanan said, “We don’t know at this point whether he was aware that there was a Santa Claus in years past. We’re assuming that he did, and that’s the reason for the outfit.”
The homemade device that sprayed racing fluid around his former in-laws home also caught the man on fire. Part of the Santa Claus suit that he had been wearing was melted into his own flesh.
Police say that Pardo suffered from third degree burns on both of his arms.
Pardo is responsible for nine deaths Christmas Eve. The ninth body was found in the rubble of the burnt home of Pardo’s ex-in-laws.
On Thursday night a car bomb exploded outside of the Sylmar, California home belonging to Pardo’s brother. The police had been trying to render the device in the rental car safe when it erupted into flames.
The bomb squad had not turned up any devices at Pardo’s home. The street had been evacuated as police searched the area for devices. Late Thursday the street was reopened.