Update, 10:30 p.m., new version incorporates earlier updates, along with observations about John Robert Reeves and Matthew C. Saturley, two of the dead.
Loved ones and friends of continued the struggle to come to terms with the deaths Wednesday, as Sheriff's investigators established a murder-suicide scenario without directly pointing a finger at the killer.
Sheriffs investigators said Wednesday that one of the men who resided at the condominium, Navy Lt. John Robert Reeves, 25, shot himself in the head, while three others, Lt. David Reis, his sister Karen, and a man they had just met, Matthew C. Saturley, were homicide victims.
“We don't know who committed the homicides,” Capt. Duncan Fraser said at a news briefing at Sheriffs headquarters, but he released a number of details:
- David Reis had been conversing with a fifth man outside the condo he shared with Reeves, when he heard gunfire. He went inside, while the witness, an unnamed friend, fled. That man called police. Reis was found dead in the first-floor entry.
- The group had been celebrating New Year's at a San Diego lounge, where they met Saturley. Of their return to the condo and the shooting, Fraser said, “It all happened very quickly. There was not much of a time gap between those events.”
- The surviving friend, who never entered the condo, did not hear any words exchanged and no one has indicated that Reeves, the siblings or Saturley, had had a dispute during the evening.
- Fraser only specified the location of David and Karen Reis' bodies. The two others were found on the third floor, Karen Reis and a man “partially” in the bedroom, and a man on the landing outside.
- The detective declined to describe if Karen Reis and the man in the bedroom were clothed. “I can't give you any details of what they were wearing,” he said.
- Four firearms were recovered from the condo, but detectives are awaiting the results of ballistics tests about which were fired. Fraser said there is no sign that there was an exchange of gunfire between the parties.
- Reeves had recently moved into the condo. A third roommate, who has been interviewed by investigators, was out of town.
- Fraser said detectives have not found anything to show signs of Reeves' mental state, nor received reports from the Navy that the man was troubled.
David Reis, 25, died of a wound to his torso, while his sister, 24, suffered wounds to her head and chest. Saturley, 31, suffered multiple gunshot wounds, all of which could have been fatal, Fraser said.
Family members have spoken widely of the Reis' siblings interests and ambitions, how David was a Navy pilot and Karen, a UCSD grad who played and coached volleyball, but less had been known about Reeves and Saturley.
Locals described Reeves as a car enthusiast, and . The sentiment turned to dismay, however, as posters learned that Reeves had killed himself in a home where three others had ended up dead.
Some posters also speculated about a possible unrequited interest in Karen Reis. Fraser said investigators don't know if she and Reeves were romantically involved.
Saturley's pastor, Jeff Mears, tweeted Wednesday that the victim was “a great & loving family man.”
Mears, of City Bible Church in Mission Valley, emailed a statement to Patch in the evening, and described Saturley as “a quiet person by nature” and a loving father who remained best friends with his wife, though reports indicate the marriage was ending.
“Those of us who were fortunate enough to know Matt knew him as a loving father and as kind of a person as you could meet. Matt loved his family very much. My last personal communication from Matt was just days before his death: He told me that his wife was his best friend. Matt is with his Father in heaven now, a place with more joy and love than we can imagine. Please keep Matt's family in your prayers as they walk through an incredibly difficult time.”
In addition to the ballistics and forensics results, authorities are awaiting findings from toxicology tests, including whether alcohol was involved.
They also continue to ask for tips from anyone who might have information on what led to the deaths. The Homicide Detail can reached at (858) 974- 2321. After hours, call (858) 565-5200 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-TIPS (8477)