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Man who allegedly killed father in Rowland Heights shooting is released

Man who allegedly killed father in Rowland Heights shooting is released
Broken glass near the sidewalk in front of a home in Rowland Heights where four people were killed, including the gunman, on New Year's Eve. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

A 33-year-old man arrested on suspicion of killing his father on New Year's Eve was released from jail this weekend, authorities said.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department released Christopher Morey from custody Saturday as the investigation into the shooting that left four people dead continues, Deputy Kelvin Moody said.

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Morey has not been charged and no additional details about his release were provided. At some point, the case will be forwarded to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office, Moody said.

Morey had called authorities to his family's home in the 2200 block of Batson Avenue to report the shooting about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's Lt. John Corina said Morey's father had fatally shot his son's bedridden mother, girlfriend and friend. Witnesses told sheriff's investigators that Morey snatched the gun from his father and fired a shot, killing him, sheriff's officials said.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office identified Morey's father as Michael John Morey, 54. The three others killed were Betty Jean Morey, 54; Linda Patricia Merrell, 48; and Ernesto Calzadilla, 27, according to Lt. Larry Dietz of the coroner's office.

A motive for the father's triple shooting has not been given. Corina said the group had been drinking at the time, and that investigators were trying to determine whether a dispute between Morey's father and Morey's girlfriend over the use of the washing machine had played a role in the rampage.

For breaking news in California, follow @MattHjourno

Times staff writers Kate Mather and Frank Shyong contributed to this report.

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