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Police say 11-year-old girl, 27-year-old Iraq war vet found dead in murder-suicide in Calif
GILROY, Calif. (AP) ' An Iraq War veteran who may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder shot and killed his 11-year-old sister Thursday before taking his own life in a murder-suicide, police said.
In the wake of the shootings, authorities said they were searching for the mother of shooter Abel Gutierrez, 27, who they feared also may have been killed or seriously injured.
"It's horrible," Gilroy police Sgt. Chad Gallacinao told the San Jose Mercury News. "We have no idea where the mom is."
Police were called to the Gutierrez apartment after a roommate suspected something was wrong inside. They found the bodies of Gutierrez and his sister dead from gunshot wounds.
There was no sign of their 52-year-old mother Martha Gutierrez. However, police said evidence found inside the home indicated she may have been shot.
Police said they have had prior contact with Abel Gutierrez at the apartment.
Mario Reyes, a neighbor who lives beneath the Gutierrez family, told KNTV-TV that he heard a scuffle but no gunshots around the time police say the shooting occurred.
Gallacinao told the newspaper that at least two firearms were used, but he would not say whether Gutierrez left a note.
Abel Gutierrez served in the Army and had recently returned from Iraq, His family suspected that he was suffering from PTSD, police said.
Police were called to his apartment late last month, but Gutierrez did not seem dangerous and did not meet the criteria to place on a psychiatric hold, Gallacinao said.
Instead, police began working with the family and Office of Veterans Affairs in Palo Alto to help him, Gallacinao said.