A handgun found Wednesday at a North Hills nursing home where a man allegedly shot and killed his near-comatose sister is the same weapon they believe was used to killed his wife in Canyon Country.
Lance Holger Anderson, 60, was arrested by Los Angeles police Wednesday on suspicion of killing his sister, Lisa Nave, hours after being taken into custody at the rehabilitation hospital where he waited for detectives with the gun nearby.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Holly Francisco said Anderson is also a suspect in the fatal shooting of his 63-year-old wife, and the same weapon was used in both slayings.
Detectives say that Anderson allegedly killed his wife and drove about 15 miles to Country Villa Sheraton Nursing and Rehabilitation Hospital in the 9600 block of Sepulveda Boulevard.
Anderson entered the North Hills center shortly after 9 a.m., pulled out a small-caliber handgun and shot his 59-year-old sister in the head, said Lt. Paul Vernon of the
Police described the fatal shooting of Nave as a "mercy killing."
“I use the term 'mercy killing' in terms of describing a killing here because I want people to understand that this man did not randomly walk into a hospital to commit this crime," Vernon said. "He knew his sister was there in a vegetative state.”
Two other patients lay unconscious in the same area as Nave, but they were not injured, police said.
After allegedly shooting his sister, the man put down his gun inside the room, walked out onto a patio and waited for LAPD officers to arrive, Vernon said.
Vernon said Nave had been in a vegetative state for five years after suffering a heart attack. During a subsequent investigation, Vernon said detectives heard from relatives concerned about his wife’s health.
Authorities went to check on the wife and found her dead in the 26800 block of Claudette Road in Canyon Country. Detectives learned the man shot and killed his wife there before going to the hospital.
"According to family, the wife was suffering from
Anderson had recently given away the family Christmas tree, saying that he didn’t need it this year. Neighbors in the quiet apartment complex where the couple lived said Anderson and his wife moved in five or six months ago. The man cared for his ailing wife.
“He was very dainty with her. You see him caressing her hand,” said neighbor Grace Madrigal, who added that the man introduced himself to everyone in the complex. "He was caressing her like she was a jewel, you could tell that's how he treated her."
Madrigal said the man gave her the family Christmas tree two weeks ago, saying, “We’re not having Christmas this year.”
The Canyon Country neighborhood was quiet Wednesday afternoon, except for a caravan of TV vans and two sheriff's squad cars. Many residents were unaware of the shooting. Officials said the woman was found dead of what appeared to be a single gunshot.ALSO: