A man described by friends as despondent over a back injury that left him in constant pain allegedly gunned down his wife and their 13-year-old son before turning the gun on himself inside the family’s Redondo Beach condominium, authorities said Thursday.
Officers responded around 10:15 p.m. Wednesday to a report of shots fired inside a residence in the 700 block of Esplanade Avenue and found three bodies inside, according to Capt. Jon Naylor of the Redondo Beach Police Department.
The dead were identified as Ivana and Marc Waz, both 48, and their son Makani, coroner’s Lt. Dave Smith said.
The woman and boy were listed as homicide victims; the man committed suicide, Smith said.
Neighbor Reggie Lucero said the father, an environmental scientist, had suffered a back injury in a construction accident and was in constant pain.
“He was miserable,” Lucero said. “He was a good friend. He would come into my house, and we would have a glass of wine and we’d talk. I’m just sorry, but I’m not surprised. There was no answer for him.”
She said Marc Waz took pain pills, but “the doctors couldn’t do anything for him.”
Redondo Beach police Lt. Rick Kochheim said arriving officers peered inside the condo and “saw one person down and non-responsive. Officers made entry into the location, and then once inside of the location they discovered two additional people inside, deceased. The preliminary portion of the investigation has revealed that it appears one of the persons involved committed suicide after shooting the other two.”
Ivana Waz, a UC Berkeley graduate, worked for nearly four years for Mattel as a product management specialist, according to her LinkedIn page.
“Everyone at Mattel is immensely saddened by this tragic loss,” Mattel said in a statement to NBC4. “Ivana was a cherished member of the Mattel family, and she will be deeply missed.”
A family friend, Jennifer Baer, said that Ivana Waz came to the United States from Serbia at age 12 and she married her high school sweetheart, who also attended UC Berkeley. She said Ivana Waz had been urging her husband to get help for his depression.
Ivana Waz managed her son’s Los Angeles Galaxy South Bay soccer team. George Kim, an administrator with LA Galaxy said the league plans to hold a memorial service for Ivana and Makani Waz at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Toyota Sports Complex, 555 Maple Ave., in Torrance.