Officials Say Accused Reseda Killer Is Iraq Veteran With PTSD
RESEDA (CBSLA.com) — Authorities on Saturday identified the suspect they said shot two people — killing one and leaving the other critically wounded — at an apartment complex in Reseda.
The shooting occurred just after 6:40 p.m. Friday.
Officers with the LAPD’s West Valley unit said they arrived at an apartment in the 7500 block of Canby Avenue and found two people with gunshot wounds. In another apartment, they said they found a suspect bleeding and acting irrationally.
They said the suspect, who was bleeding from his hands and arms, was taken into custody.
Witnesses said the man was screaming “Hitler” and “Obama” and “terrorism” moments after the shooting.
On Saturday, police identified the suspect as 32-year-old Ricardo Javier Tapia. They said he was an Iraq war veteran who suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD.)
On Friday, early reports described Tapia as the building’s property manager. Residents told CBS2′s Art Barron that Tapia is the husband of the building’s manger and that he did handiwork around the building.
The suspect’s wife told Barron that her husband was recently placed on a new medication that caused him to “snap.”
Police said both victims were shot multiple times. A male victim died at the scene. A female victim was taken to a hospital where she remains in critical condition.
The victims’ identities are being withheld until their next of kin can be notified. Both victims were said to be in their 50s.
Authorities said Tapia, armed with a gun, forced entry into the victim’s apartment and shot them both for reasons that remain unclear.
Barron spoke to one terrified neighbor who said, “He was screaming he was going to kill everybody in the apartment.”
Another neighbor told Barron that after the suspect allegedly shot the couple in one unit, he went banging on other doors, presumably in search of more victims.
Stephanie Garcia lives in one apartment the suspect tried to gain entry into.
“He was hitting the door with a gun,” she said, pointing to holes in the door, “and as you can see, there is also blood on the door from where he shot the people.”
Anyone with information about the case was asked to contact the West Valley Homicide unit (818) 374-7720.