A deputy city attorney from Los Angeles shot his wife and son on Wednesday — killing them both inside of his home — before turning the gun on himself, cops and relatives said.
Deputy City Attorney Eric Lertzman, 60, also allegedly tried to murder his adult daughter, but she managed to escape out a bathroom window, according to LA officials.
A neighbor told local reporters that the woman ran out of the house screaming that her dad had tried to shoot her.
“(She was) in her pajamas, her sleeping attire, upset, confused, distraught, somewhat in shock, seemed like a little bit embarrassed, (and) said ‘I don’t know what to tell you, Greg, but this is what just happened in my house and I don’t know what to do,’” recalled resident Greg Demos in an interview with NBC Los Angeles. “She said, ‘My dad took a shot at me, and my mom and my brother are still inside.’”
Fearing the worst, Demos told ABC7 that he went with the Lertzman’s daughter to his door and knocked to see what had happened.
“Nothing,” he remembered. “We went to the back. She had locked the doors and left. She said my mom and my brother are still inside. We pummeled on the door, yelled for her dad, yelled her mother’s name and brother’s name. No answer. And that’s when we called the police.”
Cops received a call of a domestic disturbance at the residence and arrived to find three bodies — Lertzman, his wife Sandra, 60, and their son Michael, 19. Two handguns were recovered at the scene.
“As we search for answers to how this could happen, we mourn the victims and envelop those left behind with our love at this time of unbearable loss,” said LA City Attorney Mike Feuer in a statement Wednesday. “Of course we will provide members of our City Attorney Family with needed counseling and support.”
LAPD officials were describing the incident as a murder-suicide, with investigators suspecting that it came after some sort of domestic dispute inside Lertzman’s single-story home. The longtime city worker had served since 2005. It’s unclear if he had any mental problems or issues that would cause him to snap.
“Just terrible it came to this,” said Russ Beck, a longtime friend of the family who spoke to NBC. “That he couldn’t reach out to us or other family members for help.”
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