Man dressed as Santa kills three at Christmas party

December 26th, 2008 - 12:48 am ICT by IANS  

Los Angeles, Dec 25 (DPA) A man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire with a handgun at a Christmas party in a suburban Los Angeles house that was subsequently destroyed by fire, police said Thursday. Three people were found dead in the charred ruins of the house.Police named Bruce Jeffery Pardo, 45, as the ‘person of interest’ in the gruesome crime and said that he had been experiencing problems with a woman who was attending the gathering in the quiet suburb of Covina, some 30 km east of Los Angeles.

In addition to the three dead, three people were injured in the shooting. None of the victims were initially identified by police.

Police were alerted to the incident shortly before midnight on the Christmas eve after reports of gunshots, said Covina police officer Pat Buchanan at a news conference Thursday morning.

When they arrived they found the two-storey house in flames. The three bodies were found only after the flames were put out.

Police Thursday were still looking for Pardo, whom they described as armed and dangerous.

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