INGLEWOOD, Calif. » A father and his 4-year-old son were killed and a woman and two other young children were wounded by a gunman wearing a painter’s mask who set fire to their home near Los Angeles early today, authorities said.
Inglewood Police Chief Mark Fronterotta told KABC-TV that a SWAT team set up a perimeter and was using dogs to search for the attacker, who may have lived in a rear house on the property. Investigators were trying to determine whether the suspect fled or remained in the house as it burned.
Fronterotta said the man wore a painter’s mask, apparently to shield his identity.
Television footage showed a home gutted by flames and a plume of smoke rising over the residential neighborhood early today.
Detectives determined the suspect set the house ablaze before opening fire with a weapon, Fronterotta said. Earlier the chief said the blaze was started after the gun attack.
Five neighboring houses were evacuated. Other nearby residents were told to remain inside with their doors locked. The suspect was described as armed and dangerous.
A 6-year-old boy and a 7-year-old girl were in critical condition, Fronterotta said. The woman, said to be the children’s mother, was being treated for gunshot wounds to the knee and pelvis. An 8-year-old boy was uninjured.
The father was shielding two of his children when he was shot, the chief said. After being shot, the mother carried the wounded 4-year-old to a neighbor’s yard. The boy later died.
Police have no motive.