SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — Carolyn Hunter had just returned from the beach and was feeding the horses at her home on Mellow Lane in suburban Los Angeles when gunfire burst out across the street.
"It was like a canon, and by the second shot, I ducked. ... Then three more shots were fired," Hunter said. "It was like, boom, boom, boom, (with) a second between each one."
As she called police, her neighbor's 29-year-old son fled on a tractor along a horse trail, armed with a handgun that police say he aimed at shocked neighbors in their front yards, setting off a wave of 911 calls.
Investigators Monday were still trying to determine what led to the shooting Saturday in which Simi Valley police say Ryan Carnan killed his mother before leaving their home ablaze. He died roughly 30 minutes later in a shootout with police when officers caught up to him on the tractor.
"Unfortunately, Ryan and his mother Sally are really the only two people that know exactly what occurred in that residence, and what contributed to the events occurring at all," said police Cmdr. Stephanie Shannon.
Ventura County court records obtained Monday show that Sally Ann Carnan, 67, filed for a restraining order in July 2008 against her son Ryan because of concerns of domestic violence. The restraining order was granted for three years.
Ryan Carnan, who served in the military, was never arrested but had three mental health-related contacts with Simi Valley police, most recently in July 2008, Shannon said.
Sally Carnan, a widow and beloved secretary at a nearby Santa Susana Magnet High School, had just celebrated her daughter's wedding at the house a month ago. On Monday, grief counselors were on hand at the school.
Family members did not respond to requests for comment.
Police were alerted to the killing on Mellow Lane in suburban Los Angeles at about 4:45 p.m. Saturday by a phone call from the shooter's brother, who told them Ryan had just called to say he had shot their mother in their home.
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