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Assemblyman Mike Gatto's father shot and killed in Silver Lake home

Assemblyman Mike Gatto's father shot and killed in Silver Lake home
Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake)receives congratulations after he was sworn in to the Assembly in 2010. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

The father of state Assemblyman Mike Gatto was discovered shot to death in his Silver Lake home Wednesday night, the victim of an apparent home invasion, police said.

The body of Joseph Gatto, 78, was found at about 8:15 p.m., slumped over a desk in his home in the 2800 block of Bright Lane, Los Angeles police Lt. Richard Parks said.

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Firefighters and paramedics who responded to the scene determined that he had been shot in the abdomen by a small-caliber gun, Parks said.

"The residence had been ransacked to a certain degree," he said.

Mike Gatto -- a Democrat who represents the 43rd District, which includes Silver Lake, Burbank, Glendale and part of the La Crescenta foothills region -- had been "made aware of his father's passing," Parks said.

Reached by phone in Sacramento on Thursday morning, Mike Gatto said his sister made the discovery after she hadn't heard from their father all day.

"She went over there and found him dead," he said.

After missing the last flight out of Sacramento on Wednesday, the assemblyman said he was waiting to catch a flight to L.A. Thursday to reunite with family members, who were at the house.

He added that few details about what happened were available because the investigation was in its early stages.

The incident marked the first homicide in Silver Lake this year, according to the L.A. Times' Homicide Report database.

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jason.wells@latimes.com

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