A Los Angeles deputy city attorney allegedly shot and killed his wife and 19-year-old son in their home on Wednesday before dying by suicide, police said.
Eric Lertzman, 60, first killed his wife, Sandra, in the master bedroom of their Northridge home, according to Los Angeles police, and then walked across the hall where he attempted to shoot a woman who escaped and locked herself in the hallway bathroom.
Lertzman then shot and killed his 19-year-old son, Michael, according to police.
The surviving woman fled through the bathroom window and ran to a neighbor’s home for help, police said. Authorities did not release her identity but according to ABC Los Angeles station KABC-TV, she is Lertzman’s daughter.
Lertzman then went back to the master bedroom where he shot and killed himself, according to police.
The motive is under investigation, but authorities “believe the recent loss of a loved one and on-going health issues played significant roll,” police said.
Lertzman had been with the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office since 2005, Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer said.
“It is with shock and profound sadness that we announce that today Deputy City Attorney Eric Lertzman was involved in a tragic incident which we understand resulted in the death of his wife, his adult son and himself,” Feuer said in a statement Wednesday.
“Details are evolving, though early reports indicate police were called to the family home because of a domestic disturbance,” Feuer said. “As we search for answers to how this could happen, we mourn the victims and envelop those left behind with our love at this time of unbearable loss. Of course we will provide members of our City Attorney Family with needed counseling and support.”
Michael Lertzman was a member of the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity at California State University Northridge, where his fraternity brothers are hosting a candlelight vigil Thursday night.
“Michael was a shining light in our community, who always had a smile on his face and brought joy to all of his brothers and anyone who met him,” the fraternity president posted on Facebook.