The Covina massacre occurred on December 24, 2008, in Covina, a city in the suburbs of Los Angeles, California, United States. Nine people were killed, either by gunshot wounds or in an arson fire inside a house on 1129 East Knollcrest Drive, where a Christmas Eve party was being held. The perpetrator, 45-year-old Bruce Jeffrey Pardo who had entered the house wearing a Santa suit, died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head at his brother's residence in the early hours of the morning after the attack. Authorities cited marital problems as a possible motive for the violence; reports indicated that Pardo's divorce had been finalized on December 18, one week before the massacre. Three people, including Pardo's ex-wife and his former in-laws, were initially declared missing pending identification of their bodies.
Police speculate that the motive of the attack was related to marital problems. Pardo's wife of one year had settled for divorce in the prior week. However, Pardo held no criminal record and had no history of violence. He had been fired from his job as an electrical engineer at ITT Electronic Systems, Radar Systems in July. There is some speculation that the divorce may have been caused by Pardo concealing a child from a previous relationship. This child was severely injured in a swimming pool accident several years prior.
The couple wed on January 2006, but soon grew apart after their marriage, when Mr. Pardo refused to open a joint account with Mrs. Pardo; he also expected his wife to take care of her own three children with her own finances.
In June 2008, divorce court had ordered Bruce Pardo to pay $1,785 a month in spousal support. During the divorce proceeding, Bruce had confided to a friend his wife was "taking him to the cleaners." In July, Pardo was fired for billing false hours and the court suspended the support payments due to job hardship.
Pardo was required to pay Sylvia $10,000 as part of the divorce settlement, according to court documents. Sylvia kept the wedding ring and the family dog. In a court declaration, Pardo complained that Sylvia was living with her parents, not paying rent, and had spent lavishly on a luxury car, gambling trips toPost too long. Click here to view the full text.