A family spokeswoman says a 13-year-old boy saw his mother killed as she tried to protect him from a gunman in an attack in suburban Los Angeles that police say left three people dead and two wounded.
Martha Zerehi said Friday that the gunman, after killing two and wounding another at a Downey business, grabbed Susana Perez-Ruelas, 34, and her son Antonio and took them to the family home down the street Wednesday afternoon.
When the boy asked the gunman to leave him and his mother alone, the man held a gun at the boy’s head and asked, “‘Do you know how easy it is to kill you right now?'” Zerehi said.
The boy’s mother pushed the gunman “really hard and out of rage, he killed her in front of the boy and then shot the boy,” Zerehi said.
The boy played dead or unconscious and the gunman fled, she said.
A suspect was arrested Friday. The Los Angeles Times identified him as 30-year-old Jade Douglas Harris. He was booked on charges of murder and non-negligent manslaughter, according to a review of Downey Police Department records. Jail records show that Harris is being held in lieu of $1-million bail.
Harris had been detained and questioned Thursday after a stolen black Camaro was found in Los Angeles, about 20 miles north of suburban Downey, where the shootings occurred.
Police haven’t given a motive but said they don’t believe the killings were a random act of violence.
The two other people killed at a family-owned fire extinguisher business were Josimar Rojas, 26 and Irene Cardenas, 35. A middle-age woman was also injured at the business.
The suspect had gone to the shop Wednesday after responding to an ad on Craigslist for the Camaro, said Zerehi.
Later, Perez-Ruelas arrived at the business with their son. She may have seen the bodies of Rojas and Cardenas inside because she looked terrified when she walked out, Zerehi said.
The gunman grabbed the mother and son and took them to the family home down the street, where the two were shot.
Records show the business is registered to Robert Salinas and the home where the second shooting took place is owned by his brother, Antonio, who is Perez-Ruelas’ husband.