5 Dead in California Indian Reservation Shooting

Suspect Hector Celaya shot after killing 4 relatives

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 10, 2012 1:58 AM CST

(Newser) – The church bell that rings to announce the deaths of tribal members at California's Tule River Indian Reservation tolled repeatedly yesterday after a man killed his daughter, his mother, and her two brothers. Authorities said the suspect, 31-year-old Hector Celaya, died in a shootout with police when he was cornered on a country road about 30 miles away from the reservation about six hours after the shootings Saturday night, which also left two of his other children wounded.

When police found Celaya, two daughters, 8-year-old Alyssa and 5-year-old Linea, were in the car with him. One had life-threatening injuries; the other did not. Authorities said Celaya was fatally wounded by deputies after he opened fire on them, and Alyssa died of her injuries last night. Authorities have not disclosed what motivated Celaya to kill his relatives, who lived in a travel trailer on a family compound on the reservation of about 800 people. But tribal members said the former custodian at the reservation's casino had a troubled past.

The church bell,at the Tule River Indian Reservation in California tolled throughout the day to honor those killed in the worst mass murder in tribal history.   (AP Photo/Tracie Cone)
This undated photo provided by the Tulare County Sheriff's Department shows Hector Celaya, 31.   (AP Photo/Tulare County Sheriff's Department)
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