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Six Bodies Found in Ashes of Home Where Man in Santa Suit Opened Fire; Three Missing

Police say six bodies have been found in the ashes of a home in suburban Los Angeles torched by a man in a Santa suit after he opened fire during a Christmas Eve party.

At least three people believed to have been at the party remain missing, Police Chief Kim Raney said.

Suspect Bruce Jeffrey Pardo later shot himself to death, police said.

The partygoers bodies were too badly burned to immediately determine whether they died in the shootings or the fire, according to Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office. "We have multiple bodies inside," Winter said. "They're extremely charred and burned."

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Police said 45-year-old Pardo, who was suffering marital problems, opened fire at the gathering of about 25 people at his family member's home. Pardo was later found dead of an apparent suicide in his brother's home in the Sylmar area of Los Angeles Thursday. Police would not say how he died.

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"He was going through some type of marital problems, and we believe that this residence is a relative's residence," Lt. Pat Buchanan said.

The gunman arrived at the party late Wednesday armed with a handgun and immediately started shooting, Buchanan said. Witnesses told police that the man took off the Santa suit and left the scene in street clothes.

Authorities say three others were injured, including an 8-year-old girl and a woman in her 20s who suffered gunshot wounds that were not life-threatening.

A third victim reportedly ran upstairs in the house and jumped from a second-story window to escape the attack, breaking her ankle during the fall, MyFOXLA reported.

The attacker was reportedly throwing molotov cocktails, which may have set off the blaze, witnesses told MYFOXLA.

Police received several 911 calls with reports of shots fired at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday night, and were still hearing gunshots after they arrived and found the house in flames, Buchanan said.

At first, firefighters were held back by police because shots were still being fired, though it may have been ammunition burning in the blaze, fire Captain Mike Brown said.

Firefighters had extinguished the blaze by about 1:30 a.m. Thursday, fire Captain Mike Brown said.

The two-story home on a cul-de-sac was destroyed in the quiet suburb 25 miles east of Los Angeles.

"This neighborhood is really quiet," said Jeffrey Barrientos, who lives half a block from the house that burned. Barrientos said the neighborhood's residents were mostly retirees and elderly people.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.