Mother in Custody After Fatal Shooting of Only Daughter, 29

Times Staff Writer

A Fullerton woman was in police custody Wednesday after she allegedly shot and killed her 29-year-old daughter following an argument, police said.

Toni McKay, 54, was arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the death of her only daughter, Carla Vravis, who died after being rushed to UCI Medical Center shortly after the incident Tuesday night.

Police said McKay had gone to her daughter’s house in the 1600 block of East Redwood Avenue about 8 p.m. Shortly after she arrived, they began arguing and her daughter ordered her to leave.

As McKay left the house, she allegedly pulled a .25-caliber handgun and fired several shots into the front door, killing her daughter, police said.


“It was an ongoing thing where they simply weren’t getting along,” Anaheim Police Sgt. Chet Barry said. “Obviously the feelings were running very deep.”

McKay jumped into her car and fled after the shooting, Barry said.

Vravis’ husband, Gregory, 32, grabbed a gun, ran outside and fired an undetermined number of shots at the car’s tires, Barry said.

Fullerton police, who heard a radio broadcast describing McKay’s car, spotted it outside a restaurant at the intersection of Placentia and Nutwood avenues several hours later.


When police entered the restaurant, they found McKay talking on a pay telephone. She was asking police at Vravis’ home about her daughter’s condition. Police said she was carrying the gun they believe was used in the shooting. McKay was arrested without incident and was being held at Anaheim City Jail in lieu of $25,000 bail.

Gregory Vravis’ brother, Paul, said Wednesday that the shots McKay allegedly fired may have been intended for Gregory.

Paul Vravis said that his brother was reading in the den when he heard his wife and McKay arguing.

“Greg came to the front door as she (McKay) was leaving,” Vravis said. “She pulled a gun and Greg jumped aside, slammed the door and yelled she had a gun,” he said.

Carla Vravis was standing behind her husband.

One bullet pierced a small windowpane on the right side of the wooden front door and another penetrated the door’s left corner.

“At that point, Carla yelled that she had been hit and was going to call police. Greg said he was going to stop her from leaving. He took a pistol and tried to shoot a tire out. He fired once and then realized that there were other people in the vicinity.

“When he came back in she was unconscious and the phone was dangling and the operator from 911 was yelling over the phone to apply CPR,” Paul Vravis said.


Police yesterday confirmed that Gregory Vravis fired an undetermined number of shots at McKay’s car but said they did not intend to charge him because he was trying to stop the suspect from leaving the scene.

About eight children were playing hide-and-seek across the street from Vravis’ home when the shots rang out, according to neighbors.

“We heard four to five gunshots” at first, said Larry Rawley, 29, who lives with his wife across the street from the Vravises.

“We went to the front door and saw a Honda Accord backing down our street all the way to the end of the block,” he said.

Gregory and Carla Vravis, who grew up and met in Las Vegas, had been married for 8 years, Paul Vravis said.

“It’s very sad,” he said. “They were just very happy people. They really enjoyed one another.”