A man shot and killed his wife and two others in his home on New Year's Eve before his son wrestled the gun away and fatally shot him in a chain of events apparently set off by a dispute over a washing machine, authorities in a Los Angeles suburb said Friday. The two other victims killed were the son's 48-year-old girlfriend, who also lives at the house in Rowland Heights, and a 27-year-old man who was visiting, according to the LA County Sheriff's Department, which said the 54-year-old father was a heavy drinker with a large gun collection, and authorities had made dozens of previous trips to the home. Investigators were talking to surviving witnesses to figure out what led to the father pulling out a semi-automatic pistol and opening fire.
"It looks like it was a dispute between the dad and the son's girlfriend, probably over using the washing machine," Sheriff's Lt. John Corina tells the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. "For some reason, this set the dad off." The son, 33-year-old Christopher Morey, eventually recovered the gun from his father and shot him, authorities say. Morey is being held on $1 million bail and could be charged with murder if authorities determine that he shot his father when he was no longer a threat, the Tribune reports. The brother of Ernesto Calzadilla, the 27-year-old man who was killed, says he had stopped visiting the house because of worries about the father, making an exception on New Year's Eve. "Mixing alcohol and guns never ends good," he says. (Read more New Year's Eve stories.)