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Santa Shooter Planned to Kill his Mom and Ex's Lawyer

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Bruce Pardo the Santa Shooter planned to kill his own mom and his ex-wife's lawyer

The body of "Santa Shooter" Bruce Pardo was found at his brother's home in Sylmar | AP Photo/Gene Blevins

Bruce Jeffrey Pardo killed nine people, and then himself, on Christmas Eve. Dressed in a Santa Suit, the distraught man entered the Covina home of his ex-wife's family and went on a shooting rampage, then torched the home. Following what has become known as the "Santa Massacre" Pardo went to his brother's home and committed suicide.

But that wasn't the original plan. According to, Pardo had acquired "a getaway car, an airplane ticket to the Midwest, several guns, and high-powered ammunition only sold outside the state" as part of a "thorough and detailed" plan that he had begun to arrange "several months ago." Police believe this troubled Santa Claus had made a longer hit list--one that included "his mother and his ex-wife's divorce attorney" but didn't get that far down before ending his life.

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What saved Pardo's mother's life was the fact that "she felt ill and opted to stay home," rather than attend the party in Covina. A vehicle rented by Pardo and left outside his ex-wife's attorney's home in Glendale was loaded with "maps, clothes and a fuel tank," but Pardo didn't get that far into his plan. The vehicle was found on Saturday, but, unlike the car he had taken to the party, this one was not rigged with explosives. That car "was rigged to set off 500 rounds of ammunition and later exploded outside his brother's home."

Pardo, largely thought to have been a kind-hearted man, had planned to flee to Canada after completing his plan, but investigators believe the third-degree burns he suffered during the torching of the Covina house which melted his Santa costume to his body, disturbed him enough to lead him to kill himself. His body was found with a single gunshot to the head.