Devan Kalathat kills five family members and himself

April 1st, 2009 - 1:20 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Police in California are investigating whether or what family issues might have prompted Devan Kalathat to shoot six of his family members ;killing five and before committing suicide. His wife was critically wounded.

Police say the man who gunned down his two children and three other relatives in an apparent murder-suicide had been helping his brother-in-law settle into the area. The gunman idenfied as Devan Kalathat, 42 year old of Santa Clara. The bodies of  Kalathat’s 11-year-old son, Akhil Dev , 4-year-old daughter, Negha  Dev, his 35-year-old brother-in-law Ashok Appu Poothemkandi , his 25-year-old sister-in-law, Suchitra Sivaraman, and the couple’s 11-month-old daughter, Ahana  Ashok. Devan’s wife, the 34 year old whose name had be disclosed with sustained multiple gunshots, she still remains in critical condition after the shootings Sunday night.

Investigators believe Kalathat used two .45-caliber semi-automatic pistols, both of which he owned.

The suspected gunman was found on the top floor, dead from a self-inflicted wound, according to Santa Clara Police Capt. Mike Sellers. Two handguns were found at the scene.

Kalathat, 42, who changed his name from Raghavan Devarajan after moving to the U.S. about 15 years ago, was found on the top floor, dead from a self-inflicted wound. Both of his handguns were found at the scene.

Yahoo officials confirmed that Kalathat worked there at an analytics engineer since 2004 but declined to comment further Tuesday.

The family had recently moved from a modest apartment in Sunnyvale to the tony Santa Clara community of Rivermark, a 7-year-old planned community about seven miles northwest of San Jose with a shopping center, playgrounds and a mix of town houses, condominiums and Spanish-style houses that go for $1 million. His children had been enrolled in a nearby private school.

Raji Rajan, a Sunnyvale lawyer who worked with Kalathat and his family to legally change their names in 2002, said she had vague recollections of him as “a very civilized, cultured and gentle guy.”

Ashok Kumar Sinha of the Consulate Generals of India in San Francisco said it helped police notify relatives and will be working with the family to claim the bodies. Relatives from India and England were on their way to California, Cooke said.

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