Two dead in murder-suicide

RANCHO DISTRICT — A man and woman were found shot to death in an apartment on Alameda Avenue on Friday in what police are calling an apparent murder-suicide.

Police identified the victims as Roxanne Paul, 28, of Burbank, and Garret Miao, also 28, of Reseda. The Burbank Police Department began receiving calls at about 3 a.m. Friday morning from residents near the 1700 block of West Alameda Avenue, who reported hearing gunshots, Sgt. Matthew Ferguson said.

Police officers combed the area for about 30 minutes to determine the origin of the shots, he said.

"That was the initial problem we had in that no one saw it happen," he said. "They all heard it and we had numerous calls, so we ended up having to go door to door and … fortunately the officers were able to find something that pinned them to that location."

Once inside the apartment, officers discovered two bodies and the woman's two children, a 4-year-old and a 10-year-old, who were both unharmed, police said. Police do not believe that the man involved in the incident was the father of the children, Ferguson said.

"Officers found the children at the scene, took them into protective custody and they are now with the victim's family," Ferguson said.

Investigators have determined that the victims shared a past dating relationship and that the woman had recently obtained a restraining order against the man, he said. The man appears to have forced entry into her apartment, shot her and then himself, he said.

Officers recovered the gun allegedly used in the shootings, but are withholding any further information pending an ongoing investigation.

Neighbors in the area reported hearing a series of gunshots at about 2:45 a.m., followed by about three to four minutes of silence, then another series of gunshots.

Lacey Leming, 36, who lives across the street from the apartment where the incident occurred, said she awoke to the sound of what sounded like something banging, then went over to the window to look outside.

"I couldn't see anything because it was all dark," she said.

But moments later, the second series of shots were fired and police began to arrive on the scene, she said.

Leming said she had often seen the victim and her children out around the neighborhood.

"They just seemed like a great, normal family," she said. "I always saw them going out and playing outside."


  • CHRIS WIEBE covers City Hall and the courts. He may be reached at (818) 637-3242 or by e-mail at chris.wiebelatimes.com.
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