Tears were shed and nerves were frayed Wednesday at the North Hills convalescent hospital where a man allegedly shot his near-comatose sister after killing his wife in their Canyon Country home.
David Chabolla, 61, a resident at the nursing home, said he had just finished eating breakfast and a nurse was bandaging the IV on his forearm when he heard something.
“It sounded like a balloon popped,” Chabolla said.
He said staff members went into the room next to him and learned that the woman, identified as Lisa Nave, 59, had been shot.
“That’s when all the commotion started,” he said. “There was screaming and people running around.”
Police said the man walked into Country Villa Sheraton Nursing Rehabilitation Hospital in the 9600 block of Sepulveda Boulevard about 10 a.m. and “shot his sister once in the head.”
The sister had been in a vegetative state for five years after suffering a heart attack, officials added.
During an investigation, detectives learned that the man shot and killed his wife, who suffered from dementia, in Canyon Country before coming to the hospital.
At the nursing home, resident Ernie Murphy, was crying Wednesday. He said he had seen the woman’s husband visit the facility every day, at times changing her flowers.
Bob Davies, 70, said his 101-year-old mother at the nursing home slept through the shooting.
“One of the blessings of being older is that you sleep through horrible events,” Davis said.
The Country Villa Sheraton, a nursing and rehabilitation home, is a small red brick and glass building at Superior Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard.
There were several police cars, some unmarked, parked in the front Wednesday. People walked in and out of the front doors, some waving their hands to shoo away waiting reporters.
Lani Passion of North Hills arrived at noon to visit her mother and comfort her after the shooting, which left her shaken up.
“She’s terrified,” Passion said of her mother.
A neighbor, who declined to give her first name, swept the sidewalk of her home Wednesday. She said she heard sirens and wandered outside to find several police cars.
At first, she thought police were searching for someone, so she ran back inside. Not until she saw the news did she learn of the shooting.
“I’m very surprised by this,” she said. “It’s sad when these things happen.”
Sylmar resident Reina Carmona visited her 39-year-old disabled son as she always had every afternoon for lunch. As usual, she was going to enter the nursing home through the back but discovered it had been locked.
When she finally got inside, she learned that a woman had been shot by her brother.
“I’m so worried about my son’s safety,” she said. “I hope there’s more security here after this.”
Carmona said she was worried that someone had come into the building armed and had shot someone inside. She said her son and many other residents were locked in their rooms after the incident. Her son did not know why until he asked a staff employee.
They told him a man had shot his sister, Carmona said.