Two people were found dead inside a house that erupted in flames in the 500 block of North Harvard Boulevard on Thursday in what police are describing as a domestic violence incident that led to a murder and suicide.
One of the deceased has been identified as the gunman, while the other is an unidentified man. The gunman also shot three additional victims inside the residence — two women in their late 30s and one male victim in his early 30s — who survived. They were rescued by police and fire officials before the blaze forced emergency personnel out of the building. The surviving victims were each shot in the upper torso and taken to the hospital in serious condition. Police did not release the identities or any further information about the victims.
“It appears that an ex-boyfriend apparently went over, shot everyone and burned the place down,” said Officer Bruce Borihanh, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department. “It was a domestic violence incident based on the information we got from one of the victims. There will be an extensive investigation to determine exactly what happened.”
Lt. Fred Corral, of the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office, identified the deceased suspect as Mario Portillo Hernandez, 56, a resident of Los Angeles. Corral said the autopsy and investigation determined Hernandez was killed by a self-inflicted gunshot to the head. The other deceased individual was a man in his early 30s, but his name was not being released pending notification of next of kin, Corral said. Investigators believe Hernandez had been previously dating one of the surviving female victims.
According to LAPD spokesperson, Lt. Andy Neiman, officers at the Olympic Division received 911 calls around 12:30 p.m. that shots had been fired at the residence at 517 N. Harvard Blvd. in East Hollywood. Officers and firefighters arrived a few minutes later and found flames and smoke emanating from the home. The two surviving female victims and one male victim were found near the front of the residence, and were rushed out before the flames intensified to the point where the building had to be fully evacuated. Emergency personnel then fought the fire from the exterior, and from the roof of an apartment building next door, because it was not known whether the gunman was still inside, said LAFD
The blaze was extinguished around 3:15 p.m., and authorities then entered the building and found the two deceased individuals. Several nearby apartment buildings and other homes were evacuated during the incident, and residents were allowed to return around 4 p.m.
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