The Covina massacre happened on Christmas eve (Dec 24th) 2008, in Covina, California. Nine people were killed at a Christmas Eve party.
Bruce Jeffrey Pardo dressed up as Santa and unexpectedly arrived at the Ortega home of his ex in-laws house at around 11:30pm and immediately shot an 8 year old girl who opened the door. Pardo began shooting at fleeing members of the party (it was said there was around 25 people at the party)
Police did speculate that Pardo may have stood over and pointedly executed some of the victims, using the other handguns he had with him. It was said he had 4 semi-automatic handguns and a homemade flamethrower, which he’d gift wrapped. Once Pardo had finished shooting, he unwrapped the homemade flamethrower and used it with gasoline and set the home alight.
Nine people died that night, either from the shooting or the fire. three others were injured, the 8 year old girl who Pardo shot at the door, survived. She had severe injuries, but none to cause her death. There was one survivor who had managed to call the authorities during the massacre after they’d escaped to a neighbour’s house. The fire grew to approximately 40 to 50 feet and took 80 firefighters an hour-and-a-half to get under control and extinguish. As the fire was severe and burned for a long time, identify the victims had to be done by dental and medical records.
Pardo left the house after the attack and put on his street clothes and drove his rental car to his brother’s house in Sylmar, roughly 30 miles away from the home he’d just massacred, in his brothers house he was later found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. His brother was not at home during this occurrence. It was speculated that Pardo had planned to flee to Canada as he had prior to the attack purchased flight tickets to Canada. Along with finding $17,000 in cash, which was secured to his legs inside a girdle. The rental car was parked a block away from his brothers house. Inside was parts of his santa suit which was found out to ignite a flame and detonate the car if removed. Four 13-round capacity handguns (unloaded) and at least 200 rounds of ammunition were also found, a bomb squad fired an incendiary device into it, destroying and burning it. It’s been said that Pardo suffered from severe third-degree burns on his arms which had occurred from the fire this makes police believe he didn’t follow through with his Canadian escape route due to his injuries.Police searched Pardo’s house in Montrose, they recovered five empty boxes for semi-automatic handguns, two shotguns, and a container for high octane fuel tank gasoline.
The motive behind the attack was believed to be related to Pardo’s marital problems. Pardo’s wife of one year had filed for divorce a week prior to the massacre. Pardo held no criminal record and had no history of violence, which is why nobody suspected an attack. According to talk there is some discussion being that the divorce may have been caused by Pardo concealing a child from a previous relationship. This child was severely injured in a swimming pool accident several years previous.
Pardo and Sylvia married in January 2006, but not long after grew apart when Pardo refused to open a joint account with his newly wedded wife along with Pardo expecting his wife to take care of her own three children with her own finances. In June 2008, the divorce court had ordered Bruce Pardo to pay $1,785 a month in spousal support to Slyvia. During the divorce proceeding, Bruce had confided to a friend that Sylvia was “taking him to the cleaners.” In July, Pardo was fired for billing false hours and the court suspended the payments due to financial issues. It was said that he had planned to kill his own mother after the massacre at Sylvia’s home due to her apparent sympathy for Sylvia during the divorce proceedings.
a friend – “This divorce shattered Bruce Pardo. It became his obsession. And Bruce began to plot ways to get back at Sylvia. I think that he decided that he wasn’t just gonna kill her, but he was gonna kill everything that she loved and take it, wipe it off the face of the earth.”
The victims who died from the massacre were:
- Sylvia – Pardo’s ex wife
- Alicia Ortega – Sylvia’s mother
- Joseph Ortega – Sylvia’s father
- Charles Ortega – Sylvia’s brother
- Cheri Ortega – Charles Ortega’s wife
- James Ortega -Sylvia Pardo’s brother
- Teresa Ortega – James Ortega’s wife
- Alicia Ortega Ortiz – Sylvia Pardo’s sister
- Michael Ortiz – Alicia Ortiz’s son
The survivor of this attack was Leticia Yuzefpolsky, mother of the 8 year old girl who was shot and the sister of Sylvia, she’s now a supporter of ending gun violence.
I know this is a super short case, but I wanted to do a post today! 2019 will be a year full of regular WEEKLY posts (I promise). I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and that 2019 treats you well. Thanks for all the support.