A Bay Area murder-suicide made orphans of six children who were home at home when their father shot a security guard, their mother and then turned the gun on himself, officials said. 

Erica Chanon Pantoja, 29, was estranged from her husband, Salvador Pantoja, 33, multiple media outlets reported. On Sunday, Salvador went to Erica’s North San Jose apartment in the 300 block of Crescent Village Circle, and the two got into an argument in the parking lot, the San Jose Police department said

A security guard, Marco Carral Duran, 23, of San Jose, was working nearby and attempted to intervene in the domestic dispute, police said.

Salvador shot Duran and then his wife before turning the gun on himself, a statement from the police department said.

The children’s aunt, Maria Chanon, told ABC 7 News that the security guard bought the kids time to run away. 

“The oldest one who saw the whole incident, she still cries,” Chanon said, “She can’t understand why her father would do that.”

Chanon said the children, whose ages range from 1 to 10, will be cared for by extended family.

Police said the deaths of Erica Panoja and Duran marked the 15th and 16th homicides in San Jose since the start of the year. 

The motive and circumstances surrounding the incident are under investigation, the department said. 

The San Jose Police Officers Association set up a donation fund on Wednesday to help support the children.

“These children need your help. Six children … lost their mother this past weekend. Please consider donating,” the San Jose Police Department said.


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