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Coroner: 'Santa shooter' had trace amounts of cocaine in system

April 3, 2009 | 11:15 am

The man who killed his ex-wife and eight members of her family while dressed as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve had trace amounts of cocaine in his system at the time of the shooting, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said today.

The trace amount was only a contributing factor and not a primary reason for the actions of Bruce Jeffrey Pardo that night, said Ed Winter of the coroner's office.

Pardo dressed up as Santa Claus and attacked the family at their Covina home last December. He later committed suicide. Authorities said Pardo was apparently enraged over his recent divorce. He arrived at the home of his former in-laws in Covina dressed as Santa Claus and armed with four semiautomatic weapons and an incendiary device.

When he left, nine people were dead and the house was engulfed in flames.

-- Richard Winton