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Boy’s Condition Serious After Saugus Father’s Hatchet Attack

A Saugus boy, whose father is accused of attacking him and his mother with a hatchet over the weekend, remained hospitalized in serious condition Monday at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Valencia after undergoing emergency surgery Sunday.

Brian Schroeder, 7, was watching television Saturday night when his father, Randall Schroeder, began to beat him on the head with a hatchet, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said. The boy’s mother, Elizabeth Schroeder, heard her son’s screams, ran upstairs and tried to stop the attack, but her husband struck her, then began to beat himself with the hatchet, said Sgt. James Rupsa.

Although police had not determined a motive for the attack, Elizabeth Schroeder said that her husband had been taking anti-depressant drugs and had been under psychiatric care, Rupsa said.

Trying to Obtain Help

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The woman told sheriff’s deputies that Randall Schroeder had been trying to contact his minister and psychiatrist during the weekend but had been unable to reach them, Rupsa said.

“All we know at this point comes from his unsolicited statements to the deputies that he didn’t know what came over him, but that he had to kill his family to keep them from becoming evil,” Rupsa said.

Randall Schroeder, 39, was in stable condition with head lacerations at Los Angeles County USC Medical Center on Monday. He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and is being held without bail in the hospital’s jail ward.

Elizabeth Schroeder was treated and released from the Valencia hospital.

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