A man dressed as Santa Claus opened fire at a Christmas party, then set the house on fire, killing at least six people before committing suicide, police said on Thursday.
The gruesome incident occurred in the quiet middle class suburb of Covina, about 30 km east of Los Angeles, when the attacker identified as Bruce Jeffery opened fire at the gathering in his former wife's house.
Police said Pardo, 45, was let into the party by an eight-year-old girl who thought he was there to entertain the children. Once inside, witnesses said that Pardo pulled out a gun from beneath his costume, shot the girl in the face and then sprayed the approximately 25 guests with bullets.
He then set the house on fire with a home-made device that was wrapped up to look like a Christmas present.
Hours later, Pardo's brother called the police to say that he had shot himself to death. Police found Pardo in his brother's home with a single gunshot wound to the head.