LAKE HAVASU CITY, Ariz. — The gunman who late Saturday fatally shot five people and wounded a sixth before fleeing to California and committing suicide had been arrested recently for violating a protective order directing him to stay away from one of the victims, his estranged girlfriend and the mother of his two children, Lake Havasu City police said.
Sgt. Joe Harrold said the estranged girlfriend, 23-year-old Deborah Langstaff, was giving a birthday party for her new boyfriend when 26-year-old Brian Diez entered her home and opened fire.
Harrold said Diez had lived with Langstaff at the residence on Opossum Drive. Diez entered through the front door shortly after 11 p.m. and began shooting people in the presence of his two children, police said.
Langstaff and her 24-year-old boyfriend, Primo Verdone, died at the scene. So did 20-year-old Ashley Nyland, who was a friend of Langstaff.
Russell and Deborah Nyland, Ashley Nyland’s parents, were shot also, Harrold said. Russell Nyland died at the scene.
Shooting victim Brock Kelson, 20, Ashley Nyland’s boyfriend, was taken to Havasu Regional Medical Center, where he died.
Deborah Nyland, 44, who had called 911, also was taken to the Havasu hospital. She later was taken to Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center, where police said she was in intensive care Sunday afternoon.
Diez abducted his two children and fled to his sister’s home in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., police said.
Lake Havasu City police issued an Amber Alert for the children, a 13-month-old boy and a 4-year-old girl, early Sunday and traced Diez to the California residence several hours after the shooting in western Arizona.
Diez left the children with relatives sometime after 3 a.m. and then killed himself outside the sister’s home, police said. The children were found safe inside.
San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department deputies found Diez dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound about 3:30 a.m., authorities said.
Diez was arrested Aug. 13 for violating an order of protection Langstaff had against him that prohibited him from contacting her or the children, Harrold said. Diez had approached her and talked to her but didn’t make any threats, he said.
Lake Havasu City lies on the shores of a lake formed from a Colorado River dam built in 1938.
The city of about 52,000 is perhaps best known as the home of the relocated London Bridge and as a spring break destination for college students.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.