Police in Covina, CA received a frantic 911 call around 11:30 p.m. on Christmas from neighbors residing around a Christmas party. Within three minutes they made their way to the scene and what they found was truly horrific; a home engulfed in flames and later eight bodies would be found.
Bruce Jeffrey Pardo is the prime suspect in the killing spree. He arrived at the home of his ex-wife's parents where he knew a traditional Christmas party would be occurring. Dressed as Santa Claus, he knocked on the door and waited for an answer. An eight year old girl rushed to the door, and when she opened it she was shot in the face. Pardo then began to shoot, indiscriminately, at every person in sight. The present that Pardo was carrying was a homemade flame thrower, which he used to completely destroy the home. Firefighters spent hours battling the flames before rescuers could even attempt to enter the home.
A total of eight bodies have been found so far, and Pardo's ex-mother-in-law, ex-father-in-law and ex-wife have still not been found, alive or dead. According to Ed Winter, assistant chief Los Angeles County coroner, the bodies found were severely burned and dental records will be necessary to identify the bodies.
The eight year old girl who was shot in the face survived, and is currently being hospitalized. She is expected to recover. A sixteen year old girl and a woman who jumped out of a window in order to escape being shot are also hospitalized.
After setting the fire and the shooting, Pardo went to his brother's house where the police have concluded he committed suicide. The cause of death was a self inflicted shot gun wound to the head. A bomb was found in a rental car outside of Pardo's brother's home by police, and it exploded before it could be defused.
Pardo's motive for the atrocious crimes was believed to be revenge against his ex-wife after their divorce. The two were married for one year.