SAN LORENZO -- Christmas was shattered by violence early Wednesday when a man killed his wife with multiple gunshots then killed himself, all with several children and their grandparents in the house said neighbors and Alameda County Sheriff's investigators.
The Christmas tragedy that unfolded in the garage of a small yellow house on Via Amigos was likely sparked by some sort of "marital discord" between the man and the woman, said Sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson. He declined to discuss details.
The murder-suicide occurred with three children ranging in age from 11 to 17 years and two grandparents inside the home at the time of the 2 a.m. shooting, said neighbors David and Ana Quon. The Quons, who said they have lived next door to the family for 17 years, said their home was used by Sheriff's investigators to interview witnesses who were in the home at the time of the shooting.
"We heard it, all the neighbors heard it, and we haven't even been to bed yet," David Quon said Wednesday afternoon. "The police brought the whole family over here to do their interviews until 7 a.m. The 11-year-old was screaming, 'Tis is supposed to be Christmas. It's supposed to be a happy time with my family.'"
Officials are not releasing the identities of the couple pending autopsies by the Alameda County coroner, Nelson said.
Late Wednesday, grieving family members were coming and going from the house, removing packages and taking the couple's children to a different location. A family member who declined to give his name said he was in Monterey when he got the call about the incident and came to San Lorenzo early Christmas morning.
"It's pretty clear what happened because there were other people in the house," Nelson said. "She has multiple gunshot wounds, he has a single gunshot. And unfortunately it culminated on Christmas Day."
Ana Quon said in all the years she lived next door to the couple, she never heard any fighting.
"There was never any indication anything was wrong, never," Quon said.
Nelson said the department will continue to investigate what may have led to the tragedy, but since the department is fairly satisfied that it was a murder-suicide, there is not much left to do from a law enforcement perspective.
"We're working on some things with the marital discord, but the case is not going to the district attorney," Nelson said. "It's not a case of who done it. It's a case of why.
"The tragedy in this for those who were in the house and the rest of the family is that this Christmas and all Christmases hereafter are ruined. These things happen this time of year and it's unfortunate."
Contact Doug Oakley at 925-234-1699. Follow him at Twitter.com/douglasoakley.