One of two Chino Hills brothers found shot to death died from self-inflicted wound, authorities say
One of the two Chino Hills brothers found shot to death near their home Tuesday died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, but the cause of death of his younger brother remains undetermined, authorities said Thursday.
Homicide investigators suspect that the shooting deaths of Bryan Gonzalez, 12, and his brother, Christian, 10, were the result of a murder-suicide or a suicide pact, but said the details of what happened may never be known.
“Investigators have determined that Bryan died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound. The death of Christian remains undetermined as investigators are awaiting additional results from forensic tests that were conducted. There were no signs of abuse found," according to a statement released by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
The findings come a day after the county coroner’s office completed an autopsy of the two bodies.
The handgun used in the shooting belonged to the boys’ father, Francisco Gonzalez, and was found near the bodies of the boys late Tuesday morning.
There were no indications of trouble at home or signs of abuse, said homicide investigator Sgt. Frank Bell. The boys recently had been given minor punishment for not doing their chores, but it was nothing out of the ordinary, he said. The parents have been fully cooperating with investigators.
Authorities said they received a call shortly before noon Tuesday from a family member who discovered the boys' bodies about 60 feet behind the Gonzalez home, which is on a ranch on Mystic Canyon Drive between Twin Knowles Drive and Via La Cresta.
As the investigation progresses, detectives will try to determine if the firearm used in the shooting was properly secured, which is required under state law.
The family's home is in Mystic Hills near Chino Hills State Park and just off the 71 Freeway. Several families live in homes on the ranch, which houses a construction company, a firewood operation and other enterprises.
- -Phil Willon
Photo: A sign and stuffed animal near a makeshift memorial for Bryan Gonzalez, 12, and Christian Gonzalez, 10, who were found dead Tuesday afternoon. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times