A distraught father holding his two young children hostage shot and killed himself and the children, five years after another distraught father did exactly the same thing in this fast-growing suburban town of San Francisco area commuters.
Saturday night's killings came just a half-mile away from the 1993 killings, the latest on a tree-lined street two doors away from the mayor's home."It is too eerie," Joe Appel, a lawyer who represented the wife of the first killer, told the Contra Costa Times. "July 11. Antioch. I looked at that today and I said, `Deja vu all over again.' "
Carlos Joseph Ramirez, 22, who was already wanted for murder, forced his way into the home of ex-girlfriend Cami Viramontes Friday morning. Viramontes, the mother of Ramirez's two daughters, ages 1 and 3, was forced out of the home along with her parents after Ramirez wounded her father.
He held the children hostage for about 41 hours while police negotiating by telephone tried to keep him calm, tried to persuade him to surrender. Friends outside held a banner that read: "Carlos, we love you." Then suddenly, negotiations went sour.
"Mr. Ramirez became despondent and . . . shortly thereafter it appeared that the sound of one gunshot was heard by the negotiators," police Lt. Rich Marchoke said Sunday.
In a bedroom of the house they found Ramirez and his younger daughter already dead. His older daughter, still showing some signs of life, died en route to the hospital.