Desmond John Moses, a 55-year-old licensed security guard, is suspected of going on a shooting rampage before dawn Saturday, killing 33-year-old Filimon Lamas and his 4-year-old son. The father was shielding three of his children when he was shot, Inglewood Police Chief Mark Fronterotta said. Lamas' 28-year-old wife was shot in both legs but managed to carry the wounded 4-year-old out of the house. Paramedics found her collapsed on the street. The child, who suffered a bullet wound to the head, died at a hospital.
In addition to the deaths of the father and child and injury to the mother, a 7-year-old girl was struck in the chest and a 6-year-old boy was shot in the pelvis. An 8-year-old boy escaped injury. The mother and daughter were at the hospital in stable condition, while the 6-year-old boy was treated and released.
Angel Jiminez, the father of Lamas' wife, said his daughter was shot three times but is recovering. He said he was devastated to lose a grandchild and a son-in-law.
Neighbors said they don't know why the suspect targeted the young family, who they described as happy and loving. They said there was no dispute between the family and Moses, who lived in a back house on the same property as the family.
"I felt terrible that this guy decided to do something horrible," said neighbor Julieta Anaya. "He could have worked it out another way."
"My son used to play with the little boy who passed away, rest in peace," added Manuel Hinojosa, a family friend. "It was a very happy family, so when I found out about this it was devastating.
Moses was being evicted by the property owners. Police said he opened fire on the family before setting his own home on fire. They believe a body found in the burned-out home is that of Moses.
According to police, the body was found wearing a bullet-resistant vest. The person was holding a .38-caliber revolver and carrying ammunition in the pockets. The body also had a gunshot wound in the head. An autopsy will be conducted to positively identify the body.
The Inglewood Police Department has established a fund to assist the surviving members of the Lamas family. Donations can be made at:
ICE Federal Credit Union
One West Manchester Blvd, Suite 603
Inglewood, CA 90301
The Lamas Family Donation Fund: Account No. 5223
The Associated Press contributed to this report.