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An unemployed man dressed as Santa Claus killed at least eight
An unemployed man dressed as Santa Claus killed at least eight people at a party at his ex-mother-in-law's house near Los Angeles, according to local police and media reports.

Bruce Jeffery Pardo, 45, was wearing a Santa Claus costume when he arrived at the home of his ex-wife's mother, who was having a large Christmas party. He shot the 8-year-old girl who opened the door to him, stepped into the house, and began sporadically firing a semiautomatic handgun.

He then left a large wrapped gift that was later identified as a homemade pressurized device to spray flammable substances, and left the scene, according to reports.

Several hours later Pardo committed suicide with a shot to the head at his brother's house.

Eight people died, three were injured, and Pardo's ex-wife, Sylvia, and her parents, who were said to have been at the party, were still unaccounted for. Not all the victims have been identified due to the house blaze that that followed, which took 1 1/2 hours for 80 firefighters to put out, according to Los Angeles County fire officials.

The three injured victims who were hospitalized are the girl who opened the door, who has a gunshot wound to the face, a 16-year-old girl who was shot in the back, and a teenage girl who broke her ankle when she jumped from the second floor of the house.

Pardo, the father of three children, divorced his wife in September and recently lost his job, according to acquaintances. His house, where he lived alone, has been cordoned off and detectives are looking for clues or plans of the gruesome crime.


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