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California man kills five family members, himself

  • Story Highlights
  • Devan Kalathat, 42, shot six of his family members before turning gun on himself
  • His wife, in critical condition, is the only survivor of the attack
  • Police: "Family dynamics and personal relationships may have played a factor"
  • Police say man was not facing job loss or financial problems
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(CNN) -- Police are investigating whether or what family issues might have prompted a California man to shoot six of his family members -- killing five -- before committing suicide. His wife was critically wounded.

Authorities on Tuesday said Devan Kalathat, 42, shot his family Sunday night at his Santa Clara townhouse, killing two adults and three children.

Kalathat killed his 11-year-old son, Akhil Dev; his 4-year-old daughter, Negha Dev; his 35-year-old brother-in-law Ashok Appu Poothemkandi; Poothemkandi's 25-year-old wife, Suchitra Sivaraman; and the couple's 11-month-old daughter, Ahana.

Kalathat's 34-year-old wife, who was not identified, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and remains in critical condition, said Lt. Phil Cooke.

"Family dynamics and personal relationships may have played a factor," Cooke told reporters Tuesday. He said Kalathat was employed as an engineer and nothing indicated he was facing "layoff or financial crisis."

Investigators believe Kalathat used two .45-caliber semi-automatic pistols, both of which he owned.

Cooke said Kalathat bought one of the pistols in February and the other nearly two weeks ago -- roughly the same time his wife's brother, Poothemkandi, arrived in California from India with Suchitra Sivaraman and Ahana.

Cooke noted that Poothemkandi was an "educated professional" with plans to stay in the Bay Area to work on a project for a high-tech firm.

Police were called after a neighbor noticed Kalathat's wounded wife outside the home around 8:30 p.m. (11:30 p.m. ET), Cooke said. When police arrived, other victims were found around the kitchen and dining room in what Cooke described as "a very gruesome scene."

The family shooting comes just two months after a Los Angeles father who, after he and his wife were fired from their jobs, killed her and their five young children before turning the gun on himself.

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