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Man's slaying of sister in convalescent home called 'mercy killing'

Man's slaying of sister in convalescent home called 'mercy killing'
Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department talks to reporters in front of Country Villa Sheraton Nursing and Rehabilitation home, where authorities said a 60-year-old man fatally shot his sick sister in what is being described as a mercy killing. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

A woman who authorities say was shot and killed by her brother Wednesday as she lay in a vegetative state in a North Hills convalescent home was identified as Lisa Nave, 58.

Before the 60-year-old man killed his sister with a small-caliber handgun, he had killed his wife, who suffered from dementia, at their Canyon Country home, authorities said. Police described the fatal shooting of Lisa 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," said Lt. Paul Vernon of the Los Angeles Police Department. "He knew his sister was there in a vegetative state.”

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Relatives told police the wife had dementia and was 80 years old.

After the second shooting, the man put down his gun and waited for officers to arrive, police said.

The man was not immediately identified.

Vernon said the man walked into Country Villa Sheraton Nursing Rehabilitation Hospital in the 9600 block of Sepulveda Boulevard about 10 a.m. and "shot his sister once in the head."

The sister had been in a vegetative state for five years after suffering a heart attack, he added.

During a subsequent investigation, Vernon said detectives learned the man shot and killed his wife in Canyon Country before coming to the hospital.

"According to family, the wife was suffering from dementia," Vernon said. "The sister was pronounced dead in the hospital bed."

Sheriff's department officials confirmed homicide detectives are investigating the death of a woman in Canyon Country.

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