Suspected Shooter of Calif. Family Found Dead

'Heroic' parents tried to save kids in rampage

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 21, 2012 10:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – The man suspected in the shooting rampage on a California family of six that killed a father and 4-year-old boy has been found dead in the burned-down rental home that police say he set on fire. Police say 55-year-old Desmond John Moses set the fire early yesterday before entering the home of neighbors identified as Filimon and Gloria Lamas and their four small children, reports the LA Times. Filimon Lamas died shielding his children, while 28-year-old wife Gloria Lamas was shot in both legs and escaped the house—jumping a fence to do so—carrying her dying 4-year-old. "I saw a lady run out into the street with a child in her arms. She was bleeding," says a witness. "She was standing in the middle of the street with the child, whose face was covered in blood. She fell down, screaming, 'He's shooting me. He's shooting me.'"

"Their efforts were certainly heroic," says the Inglewood police chief of the parents, who neighbors said were high school sweethearts and devoted to their children. Neighbors describe Moses as "really weird," and police say that he was "a hoarder or pack rat." Moses hadn't paid rent in years, and a court had ordered him Tuesday to vacate the house in 15 days. Gloria Lamas remains hospitalized along with a 7-year-old daughter; another child was treated and released and an 8-year-old boy escaped injury, adds the AP.

Inglewood emergency personnel respond to the scene where a man set a duplex on fire and then shot five members of a family on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012 in Inglewood, Calif.   (Chuck Bennett)
Desmond John Moses. Police say Moses, a masked gunman who set fire to his home before shooting five members of a Southern California family was in a dispute with the victims, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2012.   ((AP Photo/ Inglewood (Calif.) Police Dept.))
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