INGLEWOOD, Calif. — A man found dead at the property where five members of a Southern California family were shot — two fatally — was wearing body armor, clutching a handgun, and had a bullet hole in his head, authorities said Sunday.
The loaded handgun was a .38 caliber revolver registered to Desmond John Moses, 55, who lived in a bungalow set ablaze before the deadly shooting spree at his neighbor’s house in Inglewood, said Police Lieutenant James Madia.
The body, burned beyond recognition, was found inside the bungalow late Saturday and an autopsy will determine whether it is Moses.
The dead man had ‘‘what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head’’ and carried additional ammunition in his pockets, a police statement said. He was wearing ‘‘bullet-resistant body armor,’’ the statement said.
The shooting rampage before dawn on Saturday killed 33-year-old Filimon Lamas and his 4-year-old son. The father was shielding two of his children when he was shot, Inglewood Police Chief Mark Fronterotta said. Lamas’s 28-year-old wife, Gloria Jiminez, was shot in both legs but carried the wounded 4-year-old out of the house.
Paramedics found her collapsed on the street. The child, who had a bullet wound to the head, died at a hospital.
Investigators believe Moses set his own home ablaze before entering the family’s home around 4 a.m. wearing a dark cap and a white painter’s mask.
Authorities said the gunman fired 10 times. In addition to the deaths of the father and child and injury to the mother, a 7-year-old girl was wounded in the chest and a 6-year-old boy had a bullet wound in the pelvis. An 8-year-old boy escaped injury.
The mother and daughter remained hospitalized in stable condition, Madia said. The 6-year-old boy was released.
Authorities announced late Saturday night that the charred body was found during a search of the badly burned bungalow, which took hours because it was packed with debris.
Madia said police planned to continue looking for Moses until an autopsy can identify the body.
Investigators were still gathering information and the autopsy has not been scheduled, Lieutenant Cheryl MacWillie with the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said Sunday.