Sheriff's officials released their final conclusions Wednesday about a New Year's Day triple murder and suicide carried out by a 25-year-old naval officer at a Coronado condominium, revealing new details about the shooting rampage but providing no answers as to what motivated it.
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Killed along with the gunman, Lt. j.g. John Robert Reeves of Prince Frederick, Md., in the shooting rampage in the 1000 block of Park Place early on the morning of Jan. 1 were his roommate and fellow Miramar-based pilot-in-training, Lt. j.g. David Reis, 25; Reis' 24-year-old sister, Karen; and 31-year-old Matthew Saturley of Chula Vista.
Reis and Reeves were with the Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101 (VMFAT-101).
Sheriff's officials have acknowledged that Reeves apparently had unrequited romantic feelings for Karen Reis but have refrained from describing jealousy or rejection as possible motives for the killing spree.
Reeves, the Reis siblings, both of Bakersfield, and Saturley had celebrated New Year's Eve at a downtown San Diego nightclub before returning shortly after 2 the next morning to the rental residence in the 1000 block of Park Place where the servicemen lived.
A Reis family spokesman told 10News that while the parents of David and Karen are thankful that sheriff's investigators were so thorough, hearing the results has "dredged up the pain."
Jay Rosenlieb said Wednesday that the Reis children weren't just some young people who got drunk and then met trouble. He described them as thoughtful, nice young people and said they paid $150 to attend the New Year's party at the Gaslamp Marriott.
The Reis siblings and Reeves had made plans to take a cab home, said Rosenlieb, because they knew alcohol would be part of the celebration.
"Mr Saturley, because he had had nothing to drink that night, offered to drive them home, and the three of them took him up on that offer," Rosenlieb explained.
When they arrived at the condo, Rosenlieb revealed Reeves did something strange.
"Mr. Reeves quickly ran into the condominium," according to the fifth person who was in the car with the group of friends.
"Did not know if he needed to use the restroom, or if he was sick, or suddenly needed to attend to his personal needs, but he did exit the car quickly," said Rosenlieb.
Reeves entered the residence first and immediately armed himself with two guns he owned -- a Springfield Armory M1 30-06-caliber rifle and a Taurus PT1911 .45-caliber pistol, according to a sheriff's report. He then went upstairs to the home's third floor and waited for the others to come inside, the document states.
A few moments later, Saturley and Karen Reis, who worked as a high school assistant volleyball coach, entered the condo. Upon reaching the third floor, they were met by Reeves, who shot them with the rifle, according to investigators. Numerous rounds struck Saturley in the upper body, and Karen Reis was shot in the face and chest.
Saturley and Karen Reis were found on the floor near the doorway of the third-floor bedroom.
Hearing the gunfire and his sister's screams, David Reis ran inside, according to the report. As he reached the base of the stairway to the third floor, Reeves shot him three times with the pistol from above, striking David Reis in the left hand, thigh and back.
Reeves then turned the handgun on himself, shooting himself in the head.
"The investigation did not confirm a clear motive for the murders," the sheriff's report states.
The investigation concluded that Reeves fired the only two firearms in the residence that were involved in this murder-suicide. The other firearms collected for testing had not been fired, nor had those firearms been removed from their storage locations.
The sheriff's department's investigation included a forensic analysis; ballistic and DNA testing of the two firearms that belonged to Reeves.
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