Bankrupt Stockton, Calif., has set a record for homicides after nine violent deaths in just over 48 hours, including a triple murder Monday that ended at a senior home with the deaths of an elderly woman and the gunman.
The killing spree pushed the depressed city’s 2012 total to 59, one more than last year.
In Monday’s violence, police say a 45-year-old marriage counselor, Colin McGrattan, first killed his 57-year-old ex-wife, Jackie Arata, and her 64-year-old sister, Kathleen Arata, the Stockton Record reports. With his wife’s body in the back of a minivan, McGrattan then drove to O’Connor Woods Senior Living and shot the women’s 88-year-old aunt, Chizuko Kenishi, before killing himself.
Police have not mentioned a motive. Early news reports indicated possible financial issues.
The spate of killings began Saturday afternoon when a 38-year-old man was gunned down in a McDonald’s parking lot.
“I’ve never seen this many homicides in such a short time span,” Officer Joe Silva told the Record. “Our detectives have worked around the clock since Saturday.”
The city of 290,000 filed for bankruptcy during the summer after being devastated by the real estate collapse and fiscal mismanagement. The city has laid off police, firefighters and other city workers to reduce payroll costs so it can pay pensions and debt. The city’s attempt to shed some pension obligations is seen as a test case.