ONTARIO – Police are still investigating a triple homicide early Monday morning, and investigators have ruled out murder-suicide as the cause.
Three unidentified men were discovered by police at about 6:15 a.m. in the 1000 block of South Magnolia Ave. The first was found one lying in the driveway with a gunshot wound, and later they discovered two more men with gunshot wounds near a rental residence in the back yard.
Police said residents, some of whom have previously reported problems in the neighborhood, heard shooting just before 2 a.m. Some of those residents apparently dismissed the gunshots as fireworks. Sgt. David McBride, spokesman for Ontario police, said early reports were that gang-related involvement was premature. “There are no indications of a murder-suicide,” McBride added.
Investigators discovered large amounts of marijuana and cultivation equipment inside the rental residence in the rear of the property. McBride said investigators are trying to determine if drugs are related to the deaths. At least one shotgun and a rifle were also found inside the house.
A resident in the front portion of the property initially discovered the man lying in the driveway at 6:15 a.m., and called the police. All three victims appeared to be in their 30s, said police. As of Monday night, the county coroner had not yet released the deceased men’s identities.
It’s possible, said McBride, that a suspect is on the loose. An early theory is that all three men could be acquaintances or suspects, he said. Part of that theory was that one man shot the others while he was wounded, and eventually died.
The victims have not been connected as residents. Police said a nearby resident claimed that a couple in their 20s and two children under 10-years-old lived in the front residence.
Police said that renters were living in the rear portion of the property. Magnolia St. is located near main thoroughfares Euclid and Mountain avenues.
Update: Updated reports say that an arrest was made in this incident. Steven James Carter, 34, of Upland was arrested in connection with the three killings. It is believed that he was one of three men involved in a botched home invasion robbery, that resulted in the deaths of his two accomplices and the third man, Brandon Perez, who is thought to be the target of the robbery.
NBC Southern California: Upland Man Arrested After Discovery of Three Bodies at Ontario Home
The Sun: Arrest made in Ontario triple homicide
CBS Los Angeles: Man Arrested in Apparent Botched Robbery That Killed 3