The Devonshire Street home where four people were slain in the yard on Sunday morning was being used as an illegal boarding house and was in filthy condition, according to Councilman Mitchell Englander and other officials. Somewhere between a dozen and 17 unrelated people were living there at the time of the shootings, per the Times and Daily News. The owner, an elderly man who lives there, denied it was a boarding house despite evidence that the rooms had been partitioned so completely that one section of the house could only be accessed via a window.
That area of Northridge is known for large houses on roomy lots. Use of the properties as unlicensed rooming houses is a growing problem, said Englander.
From the LAT:
Authorities have not released the identities of the two men and two women killed, and police were still searching for a motive and a weapon.
Three of the victims — a man and two women — were shot on the walkway on the left side of the home, a source familiar with the case told The Times on Monday. They were all wearing hooded sweat shirts and were about two feet apart from each other. All three had at least one bullet wound to their heads.
One victim was crumpled on her knees, the source said, her face buried in the palms of her hands, "almost like she was praying." The other two victims on the walkway were face down.
The fourth victim — a man — was farther away and appeared as if he was trying to run to the backyard when the shootings broke out. He had at least one gunshot wound, according to the source.
"It looked like a quick kill," said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.