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Answers sought in woman's slaying, man's drive-by shooting on tractor

ShootingsHomicide

Authorities in Simi Valley were searching for answers Monday as to why an Army veteran allegedly killed his mother, then rode a tractor through the neighborhood and shot indiscriminately at residents before being killed by police.

Ryan Carnan, 29, was killed by police after they received a call about 4:45 p.m. Saturday from a man who identified himself as Carnan’s brother. The brother reported that Carnan called him and said he had killed his mother in the 1100 block of Mellow Lane.

When officers arrived at the scene, they found the house on fire, police said. Firefighters extinguished the blaze and discovered a deceased female believed to be 67-year-old Sally Carnan. Carnan lived with his mother, who worked in the attendance office at Santa Susana High School in Simi Valley, neighbors told NBC4. A memorial for her was set up at the high school.

While officers were still at the burning home on Mellow Lane, police began receiving reports of a man -- later identified as Ryan Carnan -- driving a tractor through the nearby neighborhood and shooting a gun, police said. A SWAT team confronted, then fatally shot the gunman after he fired at them, police said. No officers were injured in the incident.

Based on information gathered from their investigation, police believe incendiary devices may have been inside the suspect’s residence and the Ventura County Bomb Squad was called to the scene, according to the police statement. Area residents were evacuated from the neighborhood while the home was searched.

Police did not say what, if anything, was found inside.

Simi Valley police have visited Carnan’s house at several times, including three for mental-health related calls. The most recent was in 2008, police said.  

A family spokesman issued a statement to reporters at the scene.

“We want everyone to kind of respect the fact that they’re dealing with the loss of their mother and their brother,” the spokesman told reporters. “If you could just give them some privacy, that’s really all we’re asking for.”

Carnan had been discharged from the military about five years ago, about the time his father died of cancer, NBC4 reported.

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Joseph.serna@latimes.com

Twitter: @josephserna

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