Frank Stoltze talks to KPCC reporter Susan Valot about Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's news conference on the Wilmington murder/suicide case, and brings us the latest news on the killings.
Frank Stoltze: A medical technician has fatally shot his wife, five young children, and himself after claiming in a note to a TV station that he and his wife both had just been fired from their jobs.
Police urge those facing tough economic times to get help rather than resort to this violence. This happened in Wilmington today. KPCC's Susan Valot is there and joins us live. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Susan, just finished a news conference there. What did he have to say?
Susan Valot: Well, he said that there really were no red flags, at least so far, that they know of in this case. And he said that what was the cause of this desperation, and when you have a case where there's so much desperation, that there's help out there, and there's nothing so horrible that could make you do something like this.
There's lots of resources out there. He was basically talking to other people out there who may be in similar desperate situations. He pointed out that there's been an increase in violence in Los Angeles given the economy and the economic downturn, and that domestic violence tends to go up during this sort of time. So, this kind of fits right in with what's been happening in the city.
Stoltze: Do we know when exactly this happened, and what sort of weapon was used?
Valot: Well, there was a revolver found by the man's body. The man's name is Erwin Lupoe, and he and a couple of his children were found in one room, and his wife and their other children were found in another room, all dead.
They, a TV– a man sent a fax, he sent a fax to a TV station this morning, and at about the same time the station was trying to call police, police got a call from a man who they believe was Lupoe, saying that he had just arrived home and that his entire family was dead.
And when police got to the scene, they smelled the gunpowder residue as they walked into the house, and they found not only his family dead, but he was dead as well, and the gun was laying near him.
Stoltze: We should note, police say the child victims were an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls, and twin 2-year-old boys. What's the scene right now, Susan?
Valot: Well, right now, you've obviously got the police tape, and a lot of media trucks, and in front of the house, or near the house, there's, the coroners department and police have set up a blue tent, and every once in a while, you see people coming in and out of the house, and every once in a while, you see them bringing out a gurney with a body bag on it and taking it to the tent, in where they have everything kind of set up.
So they're slowly processing the scene. One interesting note is that the suicide note indicated that there was a dispute between Lupoe and Kaiser in West L.A., which is what he worked for. Not quite clear what that dispute was. Officials say that he was not laid off, but rather, he was terminated or fired last week.
Stoltze: KPCC's Susan Valot reporting from Wilmington. Thank you, Susan.
Valot: No problem.
Stoltze: We'll have more on this story as more details become available later this afternoon.