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Family friend says naked man 'snapped,' killed girlfriend

January 30, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A violent rampage in Torrance left a mother and daughter dead on Sunday. The man accused in the murders was arrested naked after an hour-long standoff.

Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies were called to an apartment in the 21800 block of Vermont Avenue around 8:30 p.m. after reports of a man with a knife.

When they arrived, they found a man with multiple stab wounds outside the home. He told them the suspect, 30-year-old Virgil Tyrone Tate, and two women were inside. The man, who was renting a room in the apartment, was rushed to a hospital in stable condition.

Investigators said they found one of the female victims on the floor of the residence. Tate barricaded himself in a room with the other female victim.

Tate held authorities at bay for about an hour. They eventually forced their way in and took Tate into custody.

"It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He snapped, I guess, I don't know what happened," said family friend Debra Kelly in tears.

Authorities said the three victims and the suspect lived at the home.

The motive remains under investigation.

A relative told Eyewitness News that Tate had recently lost his job and was trying to get his children from a previous marriage out of foster care. She said there had been a lot of fighting recently.

Neighbor Angel Fundora said Tate moved in about a year and a half ago and was always cordial. He said the family was having financial problems.

Relatives said the daughter had just graduated from nursing school and was hoping to get a job soon.

Tate is being held on $1 million bail.