The owner of a real estate business in Southern California was fatally shot and killed along with several family members this week when a gunman attacked the company’s office in what police called a “massacre”.
Filming took place Wednesday night at Unified Homes, an Orange, California company that, according to its website, focuses on real estate and mobile home sales. Police said the shooting killed a man, two women and a 9-year-old boy.
Although police hadn’t identified the victims by Friday morning, Luis Tovar Jr. told NBC 4 that his father, 50-year-old Luis Tovar Sr., owned the company and was among the victims. He also said that his mother, Blanca Tomayo, and his half-brother were among the dead and that the fourth victim who died was an employee of the company.
Another adult child of Tovar Sr., Vania Tovar, confirmed to the Orange County Register that her father owned Unified Homes and died in the shootings. She went on to describe him as “the most amazing father and grandfather”.
“He was extremely sociable, but serious when he had to,” Vania Tovar told the registry. “He was weird. He was everything. “
Tovar Jr. told NBC 4 that his father was “a hardworking guy”.
“He always put his family first,” said Tovar Jr. “Always put others in front of you.”
Scott Clark, the owner of a neighboring company, also described Tovar Sr. as hardworking.
“He’s there day and night,” Clark told NBC 4.
The Orange Police Department did not immediately respond to Inman’s request for comment on Friday. Members of the Tovar family could also not be reached immediately, and few details about the other victims were publicly available on Friday.
Police learned of a shooting in a small office complex at around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The first officers arrived while shots were still being fired, according to CNN, but were initially unable to get in because the gate of the complex had been locked from the inside. The police eventually opened fire and found the suspect, who was wounded after they finally forced their way through the gate.
Police later identified the alleged shooter as Aminadab Gaxiola Gonzalez. Although details of Gonzalez’s alleged motive were not released, Orange police officers said in a press conference Thursday that he had a “business and personal relationship” with the victims and that the shooting was not an accidental act of violence.
Police also said Gonzalez’s wife worked at Unified Homes two years ago, NBC 4 reported, although it was not immediately clear whether or how that connection was a factor in the shooting.
In addition to the four who died, a fifth victim was reportedly wounded and taken to a local hospital. Tovar Jr. said the fifth victim is his sister, who remains in the hospital, although police have also not officially confirmed the surviving victim’s identity.
During a press conference Thursday, Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer described the shooting as a “terrible massacre,” CNN reported.
Although many questions about Friday’s shootings went unanswered, the situation illustrates the danger that members of the real estate industry can sometimes face. For example, earlier this year a 15-year-old is said to have robbed and killed an agent from Florida. Last year, a Keller Williams agent was attacked at an open house in Virginia. She survived but suffered serious injuries that required a long recovery period.
And in 2019, an agent was killed trying to evict tenants from a building he manages. Such incidents have made agent security a recurring topic of discussion in the industry.
This week’s filming could get those talks going again. But for now, friends and family of the victims expressed shock and sympathy.
“Rest in peace, brother,” commented one person on Thursday on a recent picture posted by Tovar Sr. “Your memories bring me back to a happier place and time. I still find it hard to believe. “
“My deepest condolences to the family,” said another on the Facebook photo. “Will pray for everyone.”
Email Jim Dalrymple II