Update, December 9, 1:42 p.m.: The daughter of Arthur Baar, the 77-year-old Orange County sheriff's investigators believe shot and killed his wife of 50 years before turning the gun on himself in their Laguna Woods Village retirement community home, maintains the Dec. 6 murder-suicide was a “mercy killing.”
“My father never raised his hand at my mother, never raised his voice at her,” Lisa Baar reportedly tells the Orange County Register of her adoptive father and mother, Caryl Baar. “The only thing I can think of is she asked him to (shoot her), and he couldn't live without her. He can't live without her.”
Original Post, December 7, 12:25 p.m.: There is some confusion over whether a 77-year-old man and his wife of more than 50 years were arguing loudly inside their home in the Laguna Woods Village retirement community Monday afternoon, but there is no denying several shots were fired there and sheriff's deputies rushed inside to discover Arthur and Caryl Baar had been shot to death.
The case is now being investigated as a murder-suicide.
Tests have confirmed Arthur was the shooter, according to Jim Amormino, Orange County Sheriff's Department spokesman.
A SWAT team surrounded the home after a 1:05 p.m. 9-1-1 call of shots fired in the 50 block of Calle Aragon. A caretaker ran in and out of the home during the standoff. Arthur was found dead on the floor and Caryl's body was then discovered in the bathroom. A handgun was also recovered inside.
Amormino noted the investigation is continuing
“He shot his wife of 50 years for an unknown reason,” he tells the Orange County Register, adding no suicide note was found and there were no immediate indications the shooting was a mercy killing.
But a caretaker whose parents live next door to the couple said in an earlier Register report that 72-year-old Caryl Baar had been suffering from advanced Alzheimer's disease. And a neighbor told the paper there have been similar incidents in the past that “always involved someone very ill and a caregiver.”