Simi Valley police on Wednesday identified the man and the longtime neighbor he shot before killing himself, but said they still don’t know why he did it.
James Richard Wahe, 59, shot and killed neighbor Pamela McClain, 61, before killing himself Tuesday morning, police said.
The two had been neighbors for nearly 20 years, records show. But police said they were not aware of any prior conflict between the two, or of anything Tuesday that might have sparked the killings. Searches of their homes uncovered evidence but did not reveal Wahe’s motive, police said.
“By all appearances, it was a murder-suicide, with the female being the victim and the male being the suspect,” Simi Valley police Cmdr. David Livingstone said.
The woman’s body was found about 7 a.m. Tuesday in front of a neighbor’s house in the 3300 block of Billie Court, police said. The man’s body was found outside his home on the same cul-de-sac.
Livingstone said a large-caliber handgun was recovered at the scene. The gun was legally registered, but authorities would not say to whom.
Livingstone said the two were next-door neighbors who knew each other but had no relationship.
Cmdr. Anthony Anzilotti said police had previously responded to several calls for service at the man’s address. He would not elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation.
Those calls could help investigators establish a possible motive and if the two neighbors had problems in the past, Livingstone said. He said no suicide note was found.
A neighbor looked out a window after waking up Tuesday and saw a person on the ground, police said. The neighbor thought the person was injured and called authorities. Authorities received no calls about shots fired before that, Livingstone said.
The two were declared dead at the scene.
Shortly after the bodies were found, police said the incident appeared to be isolated, and they were not looking for any suspects. Investigators believe the shooting occurred Tuesday morning, and the two died where they were found, Livingstone said.
Autopsies revealed the man died of a gunshot wound to the head and the woman died of multiple gunshot wounds, said Craig Stevens, senior deputy Ventura County medical examiner.
Wahe had owned his Billie Court home since at least 1994 and McClain since at least 1984, public records show.
Mailboxes line the small cul-de-sac. A basketball net sat next to the road, and holiday trimmings already decorated a few homes.
On Wednesday, a candle and flowers had been placed on a sidewalk where the victim apparently was killed.
Vehicles drove in and out of the driveway of the nearby home where she lived.
A man outside declined to talk to a reporter. He held two bundles of sage in one of his hands as he pointed out the small memorial. A woman walked up to him and gave him a hug.
Anyone with information about the deaths should call Simi Valley police at 583-6969 or Ventura County Crime Stoppers anonymously at 800-222-8477.