October 10, 1999
San Francisco, California
Lorenzo Silva (63) shoots three of his upstairs neighbors to death and wounds a toddler before killing himself

Around 1:30 p.m., Silva entered his upstairs neighbors’ apartment and shot the occupants. Other neighbors, including Silva’s brother-in-law and mother, heard at least five shots which attracted their attention. Silva’s brother-in-law was hesitant to investigate, though Silva’s 87-year-old mother was undeterred. She found the bodies of her son, Noel and Josephine Ridual (both 28), and the Riduals’ roommate Ola Marquisia (32). The Riduals were laying in a hallway while Marquisia was in her bed; each had been shot in the head. Also in the apartment was the Riduals’ 2-year-old daughter, still in her high chair. She had been shot in the shoulder by a bullet which had ricocheted. The toddler was taken to the hospital and was able to recover from her wound.

The motive behind the murder-suicide remains unclear. Silva had been an airport security guard working the graveyard shift, and was receiving treatment for an unspecified mental disorder including taking medication for “stress” according to his brother-in-law. Shortly before the murders, Silva spoke with his brother and asked, “Can you help me? . . . I’m nervous, I’m nervous, I’m dying.” Silva’s brother also mentioned he seemed distressed and “looked like he was seeing a ghost.” Also according to his brother, there seemed to be no animosity between the neighbors, who described the group as friends.

The toddler was taken in by her maternal grandparents.

The scene of the murder-suicide, via SF Gate

Sources:
Woo, Andrea and Kim, Ryan. “Orphan surrounded by love.” San Francisco Examiner. October 13, 1999
“Security guard kills upstairs neighbors.” The Signal [Santa Clarita, California]. October 12, 1999
Rubenstein, Steve. “4 Shot to Death, Toddler Wounded In S.F. Rampage / Security guard in slaying/suicide – two teachers among victims.” SF Gate. October 11, 1999. Accessed: October 10, 2019. https://www.sfgate.com/news/amp/4-Shot-to-Death-Toddler-Wounded-In-S-F-Rampage-2903829.php

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