A Camarillo man fatally shot his wife in their bedroom Thursday evening, confessed his crime to his 15-year-old stepson and then shot himself with a rifle while the boy pleaded on the phone to police for help, authorities said.
Both the man and his wife, whose names were not released, died at Pleasant Valley Hospitalin Camarillo. The woman, in her late 30s, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died shortly after her arrival at the hospital. Her husband, age 38, suffered one shot to the head. He died at 7:19 p.m., police and hospital authorities said.
Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Lt. Gary Markley said the 15-year-old boy was unharmed. The boy’s 8-year-old half-sister, the child of both the man and the woman, was at a baby-sitter’s at the time of the shootings, Markley said.
Lt. Joe Harwell said the killings stemmed from domestic problems.
Harwell said the boy was doing chores outside the family’s home about 5:25 p.m. when he heard a scuffle. The boy knocked on the door of a bedroom at the home, on Jeffrey Drive in an upscale unincorporated pocket of hillside Camarillo houses overlooking the city, but could not get in. His stepfather told him to call 911, Harwell said.
As the boy talked on the phone with a police dispatcher, his stepfather came out through a sliding-glass door. The boy’s view was partly obscured, but he watched as his stepfather slumped to the ground, Markley said.
Neighbors said they believed the man had been involved in motion pictures and police said he may have also run a video wedding business. The woman worked as a secretary. They had been married for nine years.
Neighbor Kathy Barnett, who lives two doors away, said that the neighborhood is generally a quiet one and that the couple usually kept to themselves. The homes are isolated on large lots, and a six-foot chain-link fence bordered with oleanders isolated the victims’ home.
The boy’s father arrived at the home late Thursday to pick him up, and the girl was taken into protective custody by the county’s child protective services division.