Usually on this blog, I write about my thoughts on whatever subject I feel like bloviating on. This is a much more serious note. I am afraid that this is just the beginning for desperate people in desperate times. What happens when there is no hope, no money, no getting out of a situation? How sad this makes me feel, but in these days of firms using taxpayer's money to buy other firms and then whack said taxpayers, I am afraid we will hear many more instances like this one. Where can you find a job when there is no job available? How do you continue? How do you face the day to day struggle that becomes more volatile every day? Circuit City cuts 30,000, Caterpillar cuts 20,000, where is the bottom? Is there one?
Don't think that I could ever do this, I couldn't. I can't condone it, either. I just understand how it can happen.
LOS ANGELES – A man who fatally shot his wife, five young children and himself Tuesday had earlier faxed a note to a TV station claiming the couple had just been fired from their hospital jobs and together planned the killings as a final escape for the whole family.
"Why leave the children to a stranger?" Ervin Lupoe wrote, according to KABC-TV.
The station called police after receiving the fax, and a police dispatch center also received a call from a man who stated, "'I just returned home and my whole family's been shot."
Officers rushed to the home in Wilmington, a small community between the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, about 8:30 a.m., apparently within minutes of the killings. Officers could still smell the gunshot residue in the air.
Although the fax asserted that Ana Lupoe planning the killings of the whole family, police Lt. John Romero said Lupoe was the suspect. A revolver was found next to his body.
Ana Lupoe's body was found in a downstairs bedroom with the bodies of the couple's twin 2-year-old boys. The bodies of an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls were found alongside Lupoe's in an upstairs bedroom.
It was the fifth mass death of a Southern California family by murder or suicide in a year. Police urged those facing tough economic times to get help rather than resort to violence
"Today our worst fear was realized," said Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner. "It's just not a solution. There's just so many ways you find alternatives to doing something so horrific and drastic as this." Lupoe removed three of the children from school about a week and a half ago, saying the family was moving to Kansas, the school principal told KCAL-TV. Crescent Heights Elementary School Principal Cherise Pounders-Caver said nothing seemed to be troubling Lupoe at that time; she did not ask why the family was moving. Kaiser Permanente Medical Center West Los Angeles released a statement confirming both Lupoe and his wife worked there; both were medical technicians.
"We are deeply saddened to hear of the deaths of the Lupoe family," it said in a statement.
In the letter he faxed to a TV station, Ervin Lupoe claimed he and his wife both had been fired and that she suggested they kill themselves and their children, too. Police described the fax but did not release the details.
KABC reported that the man claimed in the fax that a medical center administrator rebuffed them when they showed up to work, told them to file a union grievance and said, "You should have blown your brains out."
Lupoe wrote that they filed a grievance but nothing was done and two days later they were fired, KABC said.
"They did nothing to the manager who started such and did not attempt to assist us in the matter, knowing we have no job and five children under 8 years old with no place to go. So here we are," the note said.
At the bottom of the note, Lupoe wrote, "Oh lord, my God, is there no hope for a widow's son?"
The Kaiser Permanente statement made no comment on the claims in Lupoe's fax.
"He was going through some critical situations at the job, that's what he described in that two-page letter, ongoing problems at the job, and that's what prompted him to take his own life and his family's, from what was said in the fax letter," Garner said.
The two-story home, much larger than its one-story neighbors, sits in front of a railroad track in Wilmington, a small community about 18 miles south of downtown. A children's playset stood in the backyard.
Retired truck driver Jaime Solache, who lives a few doors down, said many of these newer, larger homes in the neighborhood had gone into foreclosure. The Lupoe house, which has a sign hanging above the driveway reading "The Lupoe's Pad," is about 6 years old, Solache said.
News of the killings sent shivers through the community, and several neighbors came to the yellow police tape to watch a steady procession of officials enter and leave the home.
"This area right here is quiet, calm," said Armando Chacon, who lives one block north. "People like to sit out at weekends and barbecue. Other than this, no problems at all."
A community meeting was planned later Tuesday in a local church.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
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