Police say Ervin Lupoe, troubled by the loss of his job as a medical technician at a local Kaiser Permanente hospital, shot and
killed his wife Ana and five children, 8-year-old Brittney, 5-year-old twin daughters Jaszmin and Jassely, and 2-year-old twin boys Benjamin and Christian, and then turned the gun on himself
inside his California home.
Cops rushed to the house around 8:30 AM Tuesday after two phone calls -- one from a man claiming he found his family dead in their home, and another from the newsroom at the local L.A. ABC TV station, where a staffer had just received a call and fax from a man claiming that he and his wife had been fired from their jobs and she had suggested they kill themselves and their children, too. "Why leave the children to a stranger?" the man wrote in his note, according to ABC7.
In the fax, Lupoe indicated that he and his wife were being investigated for a personnel matter. When they showed up at work to deal with the issue, a medical center administrator at Kaiser rebuffed them, told them to file a union grievance and said, "You should not even had bothered to come to work today. You should have blown your brains out."
The man wrote that they filed a grievance but nothing was done and two days later they were fired.
"They did nothing to the manager who started such [sic] and did not attempt to assist us in the matter, knowing we have no job and five children under 8 years old with no place to go. So here we are," the note said.
At the bottom of the note, the man wrote, "Oh lord, my God, is there no hope for a widow's son?"
("O Lord, my God, is there no help for the widow's son?" was used historically as a Masonic distress call. These were also the final words of Mormon church founder Joseph Smith before he was shot and killed on June 27, 1844.)
Read full text of suicide note here:
Click here to view the Lupoe Suicide Note
According to his page on the social networking Web site Facebook, Ervin Lupoe was a graduate of USC.
In a statement, Kaiser Permanente officials confirmed that Lupoe and his wife were both former employees of the West Los Angeles hospital. The statement did not clarify whether the pair had recently lost their jobs.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of the Lupoe family," according to the statement. "Our sympathies are with all of their extended family and friends at this time. We are also providing resources and support to our employees who are affected by this tragedy."
Hospital officials said they were cooperating with police in the investigation.
LAPD Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner said a revolver was found inside the house, and the home had not been ransacked. Lupoe and the three girls were found in a front, upstairs bedroom, while the twin boys and Lupoe's wife Ana were found in the back bedroom.
"It was a grisly scene," Garner said. "Like I said, I've been on the police department for 32 years and I've never seen anything like this, so I doubt if there's too many officers who have ever seen anything like this. So it's horrific. It's a tragedy."
Garner urged people to take advantage of community assistance and hotline numbers if they are going through financial difficulties.
"That would be our hope -- that people would seek that guidance, seek that assistance rather than taking this route, which is not the way to go," Garner said. "It's clearly not the way to go."
Garner said police were working to identify schools that the older children may have attended, so that counselors could work with students.
This is just another in a long line of similar incidences that suggest a disturbing trend.
On Dec. 24, Bruce Pardo, 45, dressed up as Santa Claus and invaded a Christmas Eve party at his ex-wife's parents' home in suburban Covina, opened fire with a gun and set the house ablaze with racing fuel. Ex-wife Sylvia Pardo and eight relatives were fatally shot or burned. Pardo later killed himself.
In October, a 45-year-old unemployed financial manager despairing over extreme money problems shot and killed his wife, three children, mother-in-law and himself in their home in the Porter Ranch area of the San Fernando Valley.
Do you believe it was really the mom's idea to kill her family ... or did Ervin Lupoe just not want to take responsibility for his actions? Comment below.