AN LA lawyer shot his wife and son dead before attempting to do the same to his daughter before turning the gun on himself, according to police.
Eric Lertzman, 60, opened fire inside his family’s Northridge, California, home at around 9am yesterday in what cops believe to be a murder-suicide.
His daughter, Rachael, said she saw her dad with a pistol before she clambered out of the bathroom window to run for help.
Lertzman’s 19-year-old son Michael and wife Sandy, 60, were killed in the house.
The deputy city attorney then killed himself with the handgun.
A neighbour told ABC7 news: “The daughter came running to my door saying her father took a shot at her.
“I went with her to the door and I knocked on the door, yelled. Nothing. We went to the back. She had locked the doors and left.
“She said ‘my MUM and my brother are still inside.’
“We pummelled on the door, yelled for her dad, yelled her mother’s name and brother’s name. No answer. And that’s when we called the police.”
‘OUT OF CHARACTER’
Lertzman’s sister-in-law Cindy Stern said he had undergone surgery six weeks ago and was likely on strong pain medication ahead an upcoming hernia operation.
She told the New York Daily News: “This is a tragedy. This is a case of somebody snapping. He was in pain and on pain medication. It’s so out of character for him.
“He was a mild-mannered man.”
Talking about her niece she added: “It was totally incomprehensible to her how this could happen.
“She heard a bunch of shots and was able to make it from her bedroom to the powder room to escape out the window.”
On her sister, Sandy, she said: “She was just a very positive, caring, thoughtful person. She was just so loving and full of life.”
City Attorney Mike Feuer said: “Details are evolving, though early reports indicate police were called to the family home because of a domestic disturbance.”
He went on to brand the incident a “horrible tragedy”.
Two firearms have been recovered at the scene.