"I'm in tears because I can't believe this happened," said Pat Oldham, a friend of the family.
Even detectives are shaken by the brutal shooting that occurred at the residence at Fairhaven St. and Crescent Ave. Sunday at about 8 p.m.
When police arrived on the scene, officers discovered the body of a 3-year-old boy wounded and hiding in the back yard and a 5-year-old boy, unharmed, hiding by trash cans.
Police entered the house and found the husband, 54, and wife, 39, dead in an apparent murder-suicide.
The 3-year-old boy, the couple's son, was shot three times, once each in the stomach, clavicle and chest.
"I can't believe a parent would do something like this to their kid," said Oldham.
Pat Oldham says she befriended the family after making regular visits to their auto shop in Buena Park.
"I'm up here often. I got my car fixed, and I would sit, we would eat, we would talk and kid around together," said Oldham.
Oldham says several months ago she had an intimate conversation with the man's wife.
"Well, she just said if he doesn't stop drinking, you know, I'm going to leave," said Oldham. "She just told me that she was afraid for her kids. She did say that. She said that. I feel like I should have came when she called me last week. I don't know, I just feel like I should have came."
Asked if the wife sounded desperate last week, Oldham said, "She just said that she needed to talk to me."
Investigators say the family's house was in foreclosure. Friends say the auto shop was suffering.
Phil Adarna, a mechanic at the shop, says things got so bad at the shop that he had to quit working.
"Business was down and they had a loan modification, they were denied, and they lost money," said Adarna.
Detectives released the names of the parents Tuesday afternoon: The shooter was Wayne Zickefoose, 54, and his wife was identified as 39-year-old Herminia Zickefoose, 39.
Police also confirmed the father shot and critically wounded the couple's 3-year-old son and tried to shoot their 5-year-old son.