Wednesday, June 22, 2011
A man fatally shot his two teenage sons and set their suburban home on fire Tuesday before turning the gun on himself, police said, marking the third murder-suicide involving children in the San Diego area within the past month.
Firefighters answering a report of a house fire discovered the bodies shortly after 1:30 a.m. The man was found in the hallway and the boys were discovered in separate bedrooms.
Police identified the suspect as Thomas Fuchs, 49, and his sons as Sean, 15, and Kyle, 13.
Suicide notes at the home indicated that Fuchs planned the deaths, Chula Vista police Lt. Lon Turner told the San Diego Union-Tribune. Police have not disclosed what the suicide notes said or Fuchs' possible motive.
The man and boys were the "perfect dad and sons," and the youngsters often played sports outside and had friends over to the home, neighbor Pat Valdivia told the Union-Tribune.
The mother of the two boys arrived at the home early Tuesday and talked to police for a few moments before she was heard screaming in anguish and then exclaiming, "No, no, no!" before collapsing on the ground, the Union-Tribune reported.
California State Bar records show that Fuchs was an inactive member of the bar, according to the paper. The bar records show that Fuchs attended Fordham University in New York and the University of California, Hastings, law school. He was admitted to the bar in 1990.
There was no link between three recent murder-suicides in the San Diego area, Turner said.
Earlier this month, a man, woman and her two children were found dead in what police called a murder-suicide. The woman was killed by blunt force trauma and strangulation, and her 11- and 12-year-old children were strangled at their home in Chula Vista. The woman's estranged boyfriend was found under a freeway bridge in what was ruled a suicide.
Last month, four bodies were found at a San Diego home, three in a swimming pool and one in a bathtub. Police said a couple was suspected of carrying out their own deaths and those of their two daughters.