The victims of an apparent murder-suicide in unincorporated Valinda were identified Wednesday by authorities as relatives who shared the home where the incident occurred.
Investigators identified 18-year-old Ezekiel Griego as the victim who was shot and killed by his uncle, 64-year-old Thomas Stratton. Ezekiel’s mother, 60-year-old Jeanita Griego, who is Stratton’s sister, was critically wounded in the shooting and is on life support, according to Deputy Martin Crowder of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Stratton was pronounced dead at the scene from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Deputy Tracy Koerner said.
Deputies went to the 1800 block of Gretta Avenue about 7:30 p.m. Monday in response to a 911 call from a person at the location who said he saw the suspect shoot his mother and his brother, then ran from the house believing the suspect was going to shoot him next, Koerner said.
Deputies and Los Angeles County firefighters and paramedics went to the scene, and both victims were transported to a hospital, said Koerner.
The apparent murder weapon was recovered at the scene. The motive for the shooting was not disclosed.
According to sheriff’s investigators, there appeared to be an ongoing dispute between brother and sister that may have been related to their living arrangement, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reported.
“Looks like (it was) building up over time. He was upset,” sheriff’s homicide Lt. Jon Corina told the Tribune, adding that the sister wanted Stratton out of the house. He said deputies were called to the house about a month ago in response to a disturbance, but he didn’t know the details.
Jeanita Griego and her 18-year-old son were sitting in the back patio area Monday night when Stratton shot them in the heads, Corina said. Griego’s older son heard the shooting and saw the aftermath.
Stratton then went back to his room and shot himself in the head, according to the lieutenant.
Anyone with information about the incident was asked to call Corina of the sheriff’s Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.
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