28 Dec 2008

Killer planned to flee after massacre - police

10:55 am on 28 December 2008

Police in Los Angeles investigating a Christmas Eve massacre say the gunman had planned to flee before he was badly burned setting fire to the scene.

Bruce Pardo, 45, shot nine people at a party being held at his in-laws and then set the house alight with a home-made flamethrower.

Police have now revealed he initially planned to flee to Canada. But they say he shot himself after his Santa suit melted to his body.

Police chief Kim Raney says he believes it was a revenge attack on Pardo's ex-wife and her family.

Pardo's ex wife, her parents, her two brothers and their partners were killed in the attack.

The family's lawyer says 16 children have been left orphaned.