3 found dead in Azusa home were siblings, friend says
The three people found dead this week inside a burning Azusa home were siblings whose father had recently died and who were on the verge of losing the house, a family friend said Saturday.
The victims –- two women and a man roughly in their 50s -– all had gunshot wounds to the upper body, authorities said. Coroner's officials have not released their names or determined how they died.
At the home, police discovered 12 rifles, 10 handguns, several incendiary devices and thousands of rounds of ammunition, which police heard exploding when they arrived. Authorities are unsure whether the victims were shot before the fire or struck during the blaze. Two dogs and two cats were also found dead.
Family friend Nola Dewester, 69, said the dead were siblings who'd spent the last few years caring for their ailing parents. Their mother died about two years ago, she said, and their father in recent months. They had two other siblings; one sister lived nearby.
"They were the kindest people you'd ever want to meet," said Dewester, who met the family through her son and saw them at least once a year, usually around Christmas.
As far as Dewester knew, none of the siblings was working full-time and all three shared one car.They'd recently been struggling to hang onto their family home, she said. Court records show that the house in the 500 block of North Dalton Avenue had gone into foreclosure in June and was owned by MPH Property in Los Angeles.
The siblings also had frequent run-ins with their neighbors, Dewester said, which may partly explain why they were so well-armed.
Dewester, who lives in Covina, found out about the tragedy from her son. "I'm still in a trance," she said. "I just hope they're at peace now."