A father and son were found dead at their home on Tuesday night, apparent victims of a murder-suicide, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
About 6:15 p.m., a doctor from the Veterans Hospital called the Sheriff’s Department saying she received a call from a patient who told her that he wouldn’t be seeing her tomorrow, said Sgt. Erik Raney, spokesman for the department. He said the doctor may have been a psychiatrist.
Deputies responded to the home of the patient, 1215 Twinridge Road, off San Marcos Road, and found the body of the father in the kitchen and son in the bedroom. Authorities suspect that the son shot the father with a rifle before turning the gun on himself. The bodies have not been officially identified.
Sgt. Raney said the 42-year-old son was a veteran of the Persian Gulf War. He did not have the age of the father.
The sloped street on which they lived has a sweeping view of the city, and their neighbors’ houses — some with gated entrances — are sparsely scattered. That portion of the short windy road is devoid of street lights. Authorities surrounded the house and were investigating the crime scene late into the evening.
On Wednesday night, just one neighbor, Pete Conrad, stepped outside to watch about a dozen detectives and forensic experts working at the house, which was taped off at the driveway.
The bewildered Mr. Conrad said he did not know the names of his neighbors, even though the house is across the street from his own. But Mr. Conrad did say a man with a crew cut who lived there frequently referred to him by his last name from across the street.
“He would say ‘Conrad, how are you!’ ” he said, gesturing toward the taped-off driveway, where two pickups and a car were parked.
Neighbors suspected a problem with the son, a former U.S. Marine.
“I knew (he) has been going through some depression,” said Jeanne Mora, a neighbor on the block. “He just seemed depressed.”
She said that neighbors heard two shots.
The father was possibly a retired pharmacist in Goleta, she said.
“It’s kind of sad,” she said.
Sgt. Raney said no one else was inside the house when the deputies arrived.
“Physically how they got in, whether it was an open door or they had to kick it in, I don’t know,” he said. “They entered with the purpose of determining if medical care was needed or if someone’s safety was in jeopardy.”
News-Press Staff Writer Joshua Molina contributed to this report.