Barbara Davidson/Los Angeles Times
Firefighters survey the gutted Covina home where the deadly Christmas Eve killings occurred.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is trying to identify the nine bodies recovered from a Covina home where Bruce Jeffrey Pardo went on a rampage Christmas Eve. Yesterday at a news conference, Covina Police Chief Kim Raney would only say that the victims’ ages ranged from “17 to 80.” Today, the list of the missing reportedly include Pardo’s ex-wife Sylvia, her parents, two brothers, their wives, a nephew, and a sister.
There were at least 25 people enjoying a Christmas Eve party at the home of Joseph and Alicia Ortega when Pardo rushed in, wearing a Santa Claus suit, and shot up the place. He then used a homemade device to spray his ex-in-laws’ home with gas vapors that set off an explosion and fire.
Apparently, Pardo’s escape plans went up in flames when he was badly burned in the attack. His body was found later at his brother’s Sylmar home. Pardo killed himself with a gun shot to the head. He had severe burns along with $17,000 in cash strapped to his body. Also, he had a plane ticket for a flight from LAX to Canada on Christmas Day.
Later in a search of Pardo’s Montrose home, Covina Police Chief Raney says, “we found the racing fuel…” used in the incendiary device and other evidence as well. Pardo’s last act of violence was to booby trap his Santa Suit left inside a rental car he had used. There was an explosion, but no one was hurt.