Los Angeles grieves – 3 brothers found stabbed to death outside school

Mourners have mounted a prayer vigil for three young brothers found stabbed to death in a car beside a school – a gruesome case of apparent family homicide that has left Los Angeles in shock.
Dozens gathered outside the Dolores Huerta Elementary near downtown on Wednesday night to honour the boys, aged eight to 12, who were discovered in the morning with multiple wounds along with their injured father, who was suspected of killing his sons and then using the knife on himself.

Mourners left candles, flowers and photographs of the victims inscribed with messages: “We love you!” “Rest in peace.” Cards named them as Juan, Alex and Luis.  

Police were yet to identify the boys and the father, who was in a critical condition in hospital. Reportedly a man in his 30s, he was the only suspect and would be arrested if he survived, said Matthew Ludwig, a Los Angeles police officer who spoke to reporters.

The police chief, Charlie Beck, told a solemn news conference it was a sad day for the city, which is baking in a heatwave, and a fraught day for the officers who encountered the scene after responding to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon.

“These are horrific incidents. These are incidents that scar not only the community, but the first responders who have to handle them,” said Beck. “It is a sad day in LA.”

John Sorrentino, whose furniture store is next to the crime scene on East 32nd street, a poor area a few miles south of downtown, told the Associated Press that he was the one who first spotted the grisly scene in a silver sports utility vehicle.

Mourners have mounted a prayer vigil for three young brothers found stabbed to death in a car beside a school – a gruesome case of apparent family homicide that has left Los Angeles in shock.

Dozens gathered outside the Dolores Huerta Elementary near downtown on Wednesday night to honour the boys, aged eight to 12, who were discovered in the morning with multiple wounds along with their injured father, who was suspected of killing his sons and then using the knife on himself.

Mourners left candles, flowers and photographs of the victims inscribed with messages: “We love you!” “Rest in peace.” Cards named them as Juan, Alex and Luis.
— Jory Rand (@ABC7Jory)

September 10, 2015

HAPPENING NOW: Prayers at vigil for 3 boys stabbed & killed today by their father. Live at 7 on @ABC7 on @KDOCTV. pic.twitter.com/LOiDZk1zWL
Police were yet to identify the boys and the father, who was in a critical condition in hospital. Reportedly a man in his 30s, he was the only suspect and would be arrested if he survived, said Matthew Ludwig, a Los Angeles police officer who spoke to reporters.

The police chief, Charlie Beck, told a solemn news conference it was a sad day for the city, which is baking in a heatwave, and a fraught day for the officers who encountered the scene after responding to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon.
“These are horrific incidents. These are incidents that scar not only the community, but the first responders who have to handle them,” said Beck. “It is a sad day in LA.”
John Sorrentino, whose furniture store is next to the crime scene on East 32nd street, a poor area a few miles south of downtown, told the Associated Press that he was the one who first spotted the grisly scene in a silver sports utility vehicle.

“I saw this man behind the steering wheel covered in blood. I got a little bit closer and I saw a young child in the back seat and his eyes were half open and he was covered in blood. He was staring out, just in space. It’s still etched in my mind.”
Sorrentino said he then saw two more motionless boys inside and ran inside his store to call 911.

Officers found the father in the front seat bleeding from stab wounds to his chest, and the children in the back seat. It was not immediately clear if the father’s wounds were self-inflicted. A knife was recovered from the front passenger seat.

The father was rushed to hospital and the children were taken to a coroner’s office. Detectives erected a white screen around the scene. After they left residents scrubbed the street with water and brooms.

Police said there was no obvious motive for the crime; the father had no history of domestic violence charges or arrests.

The three boys did not attend the elementary school next to the crime scene but were enrolled in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

Beck, the police chief, said the boys’ mother was deceased. Their stepmother was safe and being interviewed by detectives.

After a decade of tumbling crime rates LA has seen a spike in violent crime this year, with 39 killings in August.

Guardian 

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