KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A man suspected in the deaths of four men at his neighbor's house in Kansas City, Kansas, before driving to Missouri and killing a man remained hospitalized Friday after cutting himself with a safety razor in an apparent bid to take his own life.
Pablo Antonio Serrano-Vitorino, 40, was in stable condition Friday, a Montgomery County jail official said. He was hospitalized Thursday after he was found bleeding in the jail, where he was taken following his capture Wednesday a few miles from where authorities say he gunned down a 49-year-old man at the man's home.
WHERE THE WEAPON CAME FROM
Investigators don't believe the gun used in the attacks was stolen, but they are still trying to figure out who last legally purchased it, said John Ham, a regional spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said Serrano likely obtained the weapon in or near Kansas City, given that he lived in the area.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol initially warned that Serrano-Vitorino might be armed with an AK-47 assault rifle, but Ham said the weapon was an SKS. Both weapons are Russian-made semi-automatic rifles and use the same-size cartridges.
Investigators haven't said what may have led to the shootings in Kansas, but they said the Missouri victim, 49-year-old Randy Nordman, was likely a random target. His wife, Julie Nordman, speculated that Serrano-Vitorino confronted her husband while trying to steal the keys to one of their vehicles. She told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that her husband yelled her name as he struggled with an intruder, giving her time to seek cover and call for help. Nordman's sister-in-law, Deanna Dunn, said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press that Nordman managed to free the magazine from the rifle, "all before Randy was shot with the only bullet left in the chamber of the gun."
The four men in Kansas were shot late Monday. One of them managed to call police before he died, police said.
Serrano-Vitorino was deported from the U.S. in April 2004 because he was in the country illegally, but he re-entered at some unknown time, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Since returning, he has avoided deportation despite legal run-ins, including a battery conviction last summer in Kansas City, Kansas.
In the run-up to his 2004 deportation, a felony complaint filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court charged Serrano-Vitorino with making criminal threats against a woman with a rifle in February 2003. The threat was "so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific" in conveying that he'd kill her immediately, the complaint said. It also accused him of assaulting the woman with a firearm, but the complaint offered no details.
The Los Angeles Police Department declined Thursday to provide a police report. Superior Court spokeswoman Elizabeth Martinez said the threat charge was dismissed during plea negotiations, and Serrano-Vitorino was sentenced in April 2003 to two years in prison for the assault charge.
Serrano is scheduled for his next court appearance on April 28. For now, the case is staying in Missouri. Prosecutors haven't said whether they might seek the death penalty, but if they do, the punishment would more likely be carried out in Missouri.
Lacy Fischer, the felony clerk in Montgomery County, said Friday that prosecutor Nathan Carroz is not going to make any comment at this time.