Navy pilot killed self in San Diego murder-suicide
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A New Year's Day shooting that left four people dead at a condominium near San Diego was a murder-suicide involving a 25-year-old Navy pilot who killed himself, officials said Wednesday.
John Robert Reeves shot himself in the head, and the three others with him were murdered, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said, citing autopsy results.
Fellow Navy pilot David Reis, also 25, was killed by a gunshot wound to the torso, and his 24-year-old sister, Karen, suffered a gunshot wound to the head and chest, officials said. Matthew Saturley, 31, of Chula Vista was shot multiple times.
Sheriff's Capt. Duncan Fraser said there were no outstanding suspects in the case, and police have found no evidence indicating there was an exchange of gunfire.
Fraser declined to say if Reeves was the shooter, explaining that "we don't have forensic evidence yet to say that definitively."
"We have no eyewitnesses to what happened inside the residence," Fraser told reporters. "We don't know what the motive was."
The deaths shook Coronado, a picturesque peninsular enclave of 24,000 people on San Diego Bay that draws tourists and recorded only one homicide in 2010. The city is home to Naval Air Station North Island, serves as a training area for Navy SEALs, and is a haven for Navy retirees.
The two Navy pilots shared the condominium with another Navy pilot who was out of town at the time. The third pilot has been talking to authorities, Fraser said.
Friends and family members have not indicated there were any problems in the household that could have caused Sunday's tragedy, investigators said.
Authorities were awaiting toxicology results to see if drugs or alcohol might have played a role.
Reeves moved in to the condo a few months ago, Fraser said.
The two Navy pilots and Karen Reis went out to a nightclub on New Year's Eve with another unidentified friend, Fraser said. At the club, they met Saturley and returned to Coronado.
The unidentified friend was talking to David Reis outside the condo when gunshots rang out. Reis rushed inside and the friend stayed outside and called 911, Fraser said.
David Reis' body was found near the entryway. The other three were found on the third floor of the condo, Fraser said.
Karen Reis and one of the men were in a bedroom and another male was on the landing.
Investigators seized four guns from the property but did not release any details on the weapons. None appeared to be a military firearm, Fraser said.
The Marine Corps says Reeves, of Prince Frederick, Md., and Reis, of Bakersfield were both Navy officers and F/A-18 fighter pilots. They were assigned to the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 of the Third Marine Aircraft Wing at Miramar Air Station.
Both men joined the Navy through ROTC in 2008 at separate universities. Reeves commissioned in the Navy through ROTC at Penn State University while Reis commissioned at the University of New Mexico, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering.
The Reis siblings were close friends. David Reis had just taken his first flight aboard an F/A-18 fighter jet. His sister, Karen, 24, graduated from the University of California, San Diego in 2009, and coached volleyball twice a week to children 12 and younger.
Genuine Volleyball Club's website says she was completing course work toward becoming an occupational therapist.
"David and Karen were good people, from a good family, and doing all that they could to spread that goodness to all who had the fortune to come into contact with them," the family said in a statement Wednesday.
They asked the media to respect their privacy at this time and not to contact them. The siblings are expected to be buried together.
Karen's absence will be greatly felt by those who came in contact with the "selfless young woman" who loved to play sports and sing in her car. David was Karen's "knight in shining armor," the family said.
"We will miss David tremendously, but take solace knowing that he is now forever flying in flawless formation across eternity, with Karen on his wing," the family said.
Navy Lt. Col. Robert Brodie expressed his support for the families of both men and urged people to pray for them.
"Our condolences go out to the families, friends, fellow service members and Coronado community during this time of mourning," Brodie said.