SANTA MONICA (CBSLA.com) — A neighbor of the alleged Santa Monica gunman described him as a “useless human” who was abusive toward his mother.
Four people were killed and five others hurt Friday after a lone shooter carried out a rampage across a Santa Monica neighborhood, on the streets, and on the campus of Santa Monica College, where he was later shot dead by police.
The spree began around 11:50 a.m. when authorities responded to reports of shots fired and a house on fire in the 2000 block of Yorkshire Avenue.
After fire crews extinguished the flames, they found two deceased men in the structure who may be related to the suspect.
Residents said the reported gunman’s 55-year-old father and older brother lived in the house. They painted a picture of a family ripped apart by divorce to KCAL9’s Cristy Fajardo.
“The father was a very nice gentleman,” said Thomas O’Rourke. “But the boys kept to themselves. It was not an easy break-up (between the mother and the father). They moved in together with the two young boys 20 years ago. They divorced sometime after that. It was a bitter divorce.”
After the divorce, the older son stayed with the father, the other with the mother.
In 1998, the mother filed for a temporary restraining order against the father.
By then, she also moved to Mar Vista with her younger son, who was described as an unemployed 20-something who mistreated his mother.
“Her son, the younger one, is very, very strange,” said neighbor Beverly Meadows. “Howling, screaming, would yell at her mercifully. And he’s just…not right.”
Meadows added, “Useless human. Doesn’t work. Supposed to be going to school, but not really. He’s home all the time.”
Meadows said the mother is a good woman and parent.
“My heart is breaking for her. She’s out of town. She’s on vacation. She’s going to come back to this madness and wonder why her house is empty,” she said.
Meadows said the mother is overseas and she has no way of reaching out to her.