2 Die in Apparent Murder-Suicide : Van Nuys: A man slashes daughter before barricading himself and son in apartment for several hours.


A father slashed his teen-age daughter with a machete Thursday and set fire to her apartment as police closed in, then killed his 13-year-old son and himself when the SWAT squad stormed the building, Los Angeles police reported.

After injuring the daughter, the father, whose name was not immediately released, barricaded himself in the Victory West Apartments in the 14100 block of Victory Boulevard with his son about 7 p.m. and held off police and firefighters for several hours, Sgt. Brett Papworth said.

The father said he would kill anyone who came in, Papworth said.

"He told police, 'You'll have to come in and get me--I'm not coming out,' " police spokeswoman Sharyn Michelson said.

About 8:45 p.m., SWAT team members threw in a grenade that explodes with a bright flash and a loud bang designed to startle and disorient suspects, then rushed the apartment.

Within five minutes, smoke billowed out of the apartment and police yelled for firefighters to help put out the flames.

When police entered, they found the father and son dead and a mattress engulfed in flames, Papworth said.

Officials were unsure if the pair had died of smoke inhalation or other causes, but said the dead man apparently set fire to the mattress before the SWAT team entered.

The deaths were classified as a murder-suicide, Fire Department spokesman Paul Gutierrez said.

The man apparently got into an argument with his 17-year-old daughter in her first-floor apartment, hit her on the head with a wrench and attacked her with a machete, Papworth said. The girl was taken to Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, where she was in stable condition with three cuts on the arms and head, a hospital spokeswoman said.

Neighbors said the girl lived in the apartment with her husband and 6-month-old child.

"A woman called 911 and said a man, her husband, had murdered one of the children," Papworth said. When police arrived, they found the man barricaded in the apartment.

The father apparently "came over to discuss his family problems with his daughter, and the problems concerned the daughter's mother," Papworth said.

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