A Los Angeles city attorney killed his wife and teen son in a murder-suicide and attempted to kill his daughter but she managed to crawl out a window and escaped, authorities say.
Police were called to a home in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Northridge Wednesday morning after a report of a shooting. When officers arrived “they discovered three dead inside the residence,” the LAPD said in a press release.
Eric Lertzman, 60, his wife Sandra and their 19-year-old son Michael were all dead of gunshot wounds.
“The investigation ultimately revealed that 60-year-old Eric Lertzman, had shot and killed his wife Sandra in their master-bedroom,” police stated. “He then walked across the hall where he attempted to shoot a female adult. She escaped and locked herself in the hallway bathroom.”
That woman, his daughter, was able to escape through the bathroom window. While she was fleeing, her dad shot her brother to death. He then returned to the master bedroom and killed himself.
The daughter, who has not been publicly identified, ran to neighbor Greg Demos' home for help.
Demo told KTLA that the she was “upset, confused, distraught, somewhat in shock" and even a "little bit embarrassed" as she told him, “My dad took a shot at me, and my mom and my brother are still inside.'"
While a motive is still being determined, police cited “the recent loss of a loved one and on-going health issues played significant roll.”
Eric Lertzman's mother died in late August, according to an obituary.
City Attorney Mike Feuer reacted to his colleague's murder-suicide said in a statement, which reads in part: “This is a horrible tragedy. As we search for answers to how this could happen, we mourn the victims and envelop those left behind with our love during this time of unbearable loss.”
Michael worked as a camp counselor at the American Jewish University’s Camp Alonim in Simi Valley, according to the camp, which praised the slain teen for his “personal warmth, his gentle spirit, his wide smile, and his infectious enthusiasm.”
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