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Eugene MOLTER

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

   
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Enraged at his impending eviction from an apartment complex for senior citizens
Number of victims: 3
Date of murders: April 11, 2001
Date of birth: 1933
Victims profile: Albert Carignan, 65, and Patricia Carignan, 60; and Ariel Ibarra, 72
Method of murder: Shooting (9 mm pistol)
Location: Chula Vista, San Diego County, California, USA
Status: Committed suicide by shooting himself the same day
 
 
 
 
 
 

Facing eviction from his apartment, Molter shot and killed three people at a senior citizens apartment complex.

He then shot himself to death.

 
 

Four dead after shootings in California

Atlanta Journal

April 12, 2001

An elderly man who was being evicted from an apartment complex for senior citizens in Chula Vista, Calif., shot and killed three people there before committing suicide, police said.

Shots were fired at the Congregational Tower at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and officers were fired upon as they arrived at the scene, said police Sgt. David Eisenberg.

 
 

Neighbors describe shooter as "strange"

Contra Costa Times

April 12, 2001

CHULA VISTA Police on Thursday said Eugene Molter, 68, who shot and killed three people at a senior citizens apartment complex before committing suicide, was a loner who became enraged at his impending eviction and left behind a note warning, "This is my day."

Molter used a 9 mm pistol to shoot Albert Carignan, 65, and Patricia Carignan, 60, the husband and wife resident managers at Congregational Tower. He then shot through the door and killed Ariel Ibarra, the 72-year-old man who lived directly

 
 

Man in deadly spree was facing eviction

Akron Beacon Journal

April 13, 2001

A man who shot to death three fellow tenants at his senior citizen apartment building, then took his own life, was being evicted because of disputes with his neighbors, police said yesterday. On Wednesday, Eugene Molter, 68, fatally shot the husband-and-wife resident managers at Congregational Tower, then killed the tenant who lived in the apartment above him. He then shot himself to death.

 
 

Neighbors describe shooter as 'strange'

CHULA VISTA -- Police on Thursday said Eugene Molter, 68, who shot and killed three people at a senior citizens apartment complex before committing suicide, was a loner who became enraged at his impending eviction and left behind a note warning, "This is my day."

Molter used a 9 mm pistol to shoot Albert Carignan, 65, and Patricia Carignan, 60, the husband and wife resident managers at Congregational Tower. He then shot through the door and killed Ariel Ibarra, the 72-year-old man who lived directly above his 15th-floor apartment, Chula Vista police Lt. Gary Wedge said.

Wednesday's rampage near San Diego took less than five minutes.

Police spokesman Lt. Gary Wedge said Molter was found in his apartment dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

Wedge said Molter had no known relatives, listed no previous address when he moved into the Congregational Tower six years ago and had a 1982 conviction for petty theft and shoplifting.

Molter, who lived in the apartment beneath Ibarra, allegedly tormented Ibarra for years by banging on the ceiling with a baseball bat.

Other residents said Molter acted in a belligerent manner on numerous occasions and made loud noises in his apartment.

Complaints from Ibarra and others led to Molter's eviction from the $300-a-month apartment, effective Thursday.

Wedge said Molter left a note that spoke ominously of something big that was about to happen in the apartment complex, which is run by a nearby church.

"His anger was the result of ongoing problems and the pending eviction," Wedge said.

A security camera filmed Molter with a baseball cap carrying a bag under his arm as he approached Carignan, who was sweeping the building lobby floor.

The film shows Carignan being shot and then staggering away. Police said Molter moved away, shot Patricia Carignan in the neck, then returned to shoot her husband several more times.

After Molter shot Ibarra on the 16th floor, he returned to his apartment and fired from his balcony at arriving police officers, the lieutenant said.

He then went back in his apartment and killed himself.

As police hunted for the gunman for nearly four hours, dozens of residents, some in wheelchairs, were evacuated in SWAT trucks.

Wedge said the age and infirmity of many of the residents, who have since returned to their apartments, required police to be cautious in entering rooms during their search.

Residents of Congregational Tower described Molter as strange and a loner.

Ariel Ibarra, the son of the oldest victim, said his father repeatedly complained about the noise Molter made in his apartment.

"When I heard about the shooting, the first thing that went through my mind was that guy hurt my father," the younger Ibarra said.

Fannie West, 74, said Molter did not socialize with anyone. "He seemed like he was always angry. He never looked relaxed."

Neighbor David Ramos Rivera, 66, said Molter had a lot of arguments with Ibarra.

Little is known about Molter. He was apparently a transient before he moved into the low-income apartment.

Authorities don't know where or when Molter acquired the gun used in the shooting, Wedge said. Investigators found three boxes of ammunition for it in his apartment.

 
 

Senior center shooter was to be evicted

CHULA VISTA -- An elderly man who shot and killed three fellow residents in his senior citizen apartment building, then took his own life, was being evicted because of complaints from his neighbors, police said Thursday.

Eugene Molter, 68, used a 9mm pistol to shoot the husband and wife resident managers at Congregational Tower, then killed the 72-year-old man who lived directly above his 15th-floor apartment, Chula Vista police Lt. Gary Wedge said Thursday in an interview with The Associated Press.

Molter's only known criminal history is a 3-year-old arrest for petty theft and trespassing, Wedge said. Molter received three years probation, but details of the theft were not immediately available.

Residents of Congregational Tower described Molter as strange and a loner.

Ariel Ibarra, the son of the 72-year-old victim Ariel Ibarra, said his father repeatedly complained about the noise Molter made in his apartment.

"When I heard about the shooting, the first thing that went through my mind was that guy hurt my father," the younger Ibarra said.

Other neighbors were mourning the loss of complex managers Patricia Carignan, 60, and her 65-year-old husband, Albert Carignan. The tenants sat in community lounge rooms at the 16-story, federally owned complex talking about the couple and trying to understand Wednesday's shootings.

"They just pampered us like we were little children," resident Fannie West, 74, said of the Carignans. "They just made us feel at home."

Chula Vista is located nine miles south of San Diego.

 
 

Man Kills Three, Self In Chula Vista Shooting

Neighborhood Locked Down As SWAT Teams Search For Man

April 12, 2001

Gunfire at a South Bay retirement high-rise left four people dead Wednesday, including the suspect, who shot himself to death.

Shots first rang out at about 2:40 p.m. at Congregational Tower (pictured, left), an assisted-living facility at 288 F St. in Chula Vista, according to 10News.

Police responded to the scene within five minutes. According to police, officers exchanged fire with the suspect when they first arrived. The suspect fired at least six shots at officers, according to Lt. Gary Wedge of the Chula Vista Police Department.

The shooter has been identified as Eugene Molter, 68, who lived in an apartment on the 15th floor for the past six years, said Lt. Gary Wedge of the Chula Vista Police Department.

Molter was in the process of being evicted and that may have prompted the shooting attack, Wedge said.

Molter's victims have been identified as Ariel Ibarra, 72, and Albert and Pat Carignan -- believed to be the apartment's managers.

The managers of the building, which caters to seniors on a fixed income, had recently raised rents by $100 a month and some residents were angry about the change.

Another person is reported to have suffered a heart attack.

One officer suffered minor injuries but police would not say how he was wounded.

'I Don't Know Why Someone Would Do This'

For more than four hours, the area surrounding the building -- from E to G Streets and from 2nd to 4th Avenues -- was locked down by police while they searched for the gunman.

Among those locked down in the neighborhood was Congressman Bob Filner, D-Calif., whose offices are nearby

"I'm locked in the office watching the whole thing," Filner said in a telephone interview with 10News.

"There are some constituents here. They had a longer meeting then they wanted."

Several residents waited just outside an area cordoned off police and waited anxiously for news about family members trapped inside.

"I'm really worried about my husband. I've tried calling but nobody answered," Sylvia Lopez, 63, who lives in the complex with her 66-year-old husband, Roberto said.

Several other residents said they also called family members in the building and got no answer.

Some in the area were oblivious to what was transpiring in the building.

"I just heard some pop-pop-pop and I didn't think much of it," said Steve Sullivan, 36, who was teaching a class for medical assistants.

"But then I saw a procession of police cars and the SWAT team came through."

The San Diego area has been hit hard by a succession of shootings in recent months. Two teenagers opened fire in separate incidents last month in schools east of the city.

"I don't care what age you are -- first it was the schools, now it's the senior center -- it doesn't matter what economic group or ethnic group, we're all vulnerable. We all have to be together in solving this," Filner said.

"There are just so many bad things happening right now," witness Erica Kimball told 10News.

"I don't know why someone would do this."