Father detained after 4 children, grandmother found shot dead in California home
| Local News | abc News
LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) – Four children, including an infant, and their grandmother were found shot dead in a Southern California home and the children’s father was arrested on suspicion of killing them, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said.
The victims were found Sunday evening in a house in the city of Lancaster, in the high desert of Antelope Valley, north of Los Angeles.
The mother of the children discovered the bodies and called 911, Lt. Brandon Dean told The Associated Press in a telephone interview.
Three houses away, Grace Beltran and her son Gérard were awakened by the flashing lights of the first responders. Grace Beltran said a woman was walking back and forth in their front yard shouting, “My babies are gone! They are all dead!
Minutes after the mother arrived home, the father of the children, Germarcus David, 29, surrendered to deputies at the Lancaster sheriff’s post, Dean said.
David was arrested after being questioned by investigators and held in lieu of $ 2 million bail.
It was not immediately clear whether David had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf. He was scheduled to make a first appearance at the Antelope Valley courthouse on Tuesday.
The grandmother, a girl and three boys were gunned down to the upper torso and paramedics said all the victims died at the scene. Authorities haven’t identified them, but Waki Jones, who worked with the family through his Lancaster daycare, told the Los Angeles Times that the two oldest children were Amaya, 12, and Demarcus, 9 years.
“Amaya was a lovely girl, and every morning mom would say to her, ‘Say hello to the coach,’” Jones said, meaning to himself. “She always protected her brother, made sure he was safe at school.”
Doing that to children is cowardly. It’s just amazing, ”he told The Times.
The other victims were an infant, a child under 12 and the grandmother, who was in her 50s, authorities said.
The grandmother did not live with the family but did babysitting, Dean said. He said he was not aware of any previous reports of domestic violence in the home.
David was a licensed security guard and held a license to carry a firearm, but it expired in August 2020 and was listed as “canceled,” according to records from the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, which regulates the private security sector.
What appeared to be David’s Facebook page includes a photograph of a crucifix and his posts from late October and earlier this month speak from spiritual and moral perspectives.
“Just know that God loves you when you don’t feel loved,” David said in a Nov. 16 article.
He posted on November 14, “The devil wouldn’t attack you so hard if it wasn’t for something precious in you. Thieves don’t break into empty houses.
The murders took place in a neighborhood of clean, modern houses, some decorated for Christmas. A crime scene tape blocked access to the street where the victims were shot.
On Monday, investigators entered and left the gray one-story house around the corner. Neighbors watched as coroner’s workers load the covered bodies of the victims onto a truck.
The Beltrans said they would go out in the afternoons in the summer to water their plants and see children biking around the neighborhood with a dog. The children said hello but did not argue with the neighbors. Sometimes a woman – maybe their mother – would pass by with a stroller.
“They seemed to be like a happy family,” Grace Beltran said.
More than 12 hours later, Grace Beltran said she was still in shock.
“Nothing goes like that here,” she said. “It’s really traumatic.
Gerard Beltran said he only saw David once as he walked to his car.
Donnel Murray, who lives a street down the road, said he sometimes sees the grandmother outside as he rode his ATV around the neighborhood. He never saw his grandchildren. Murry said the woman would wave to him, recently asked him about his ATV and mentioned a grandson.
James Martin, 32, who lives nearby, said death had broken his heart.
“I don’t understand it,” he said. “I know things get tough, but it’s never worth taking the life – the life – of anyone.”
Associated Press writer John Antczak in Los Angeles and researcher Rhonda Shafner contributed to this report.
Latest News Headlines abc News Father detained after 4 children, grandmother found shot dead in California home