Daughter of victim in apparent murder-suicide: There were warnings
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The daughter of a woman killed in an apparent murder-suicide at a Torrance senior home said Wednesday that management ignored several warnings about the suspected shooter’s violent plans.
Two women -- Charlie Vanhager, 54, and Maria Leon, 53 -- were killed Tuesday at Golden West Tower in the 3500 block of Maricopa Street, according to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. The name of the alleged gunman, who employees said was a resident with a history of violent outbursts, has not yet been released.
Vanhager’s daughter, Nicole Daugherty, of Sacramento said her mother had been a live-in manager of the senior home for about five years. While Vanhager had initially befriended the shooter -- who employees identified as a resident named Chuck -- his crass remarks soon turned threatening, Daugherty said.
‘He’s threatened to hit her, to stab her and to shoot her,’ said Daugherty, who said her mother frequently reported the threats to upper management. Earlier this year, she said, her mother took a leave of absence because of the threats.
‘They had so much time to protect her, and they did nothing,’ she said.
Daugherty said the man was prone to violent outbursts, and her mother and residents had asked that he be removed. ‘He was a ticking time bomb and yesterday he went off. He killed my mom,’ she said.
Torrance police said the alleged threats were never reported to them, and they are continuing to investigate the motive.
Alex Galindo, a maintenance supervisor at Golden West Tower, said Leon was a caregiver stationed in the South Bay and not an employee of the building.
He said Chuck had a reputation for being an angry, violent man and would harass tenants but had mostly targeted Vanhager and Leon.
The suspect had been involved in a couple of fights, including one that left a man with a broken jaw, Galindo said. In another incident, he waved a knife to the building manager and threatened to slash her car tires. He made the same threat to some of the other tenants, Galindo said.
‘This had been going on for years,’ Galindo said. ‘I’m really upset because this has been an ongoing thing and the corporation knew about this man and nothing was done.’
A manager at the Golden West Tower declined to comment Wednesday morning on the allegation that management was aware of previous threats.
-- Wesley Lowery and Ruben Vives