Christmas Eve killer headed to Iowa, not Canada - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Christmas Eve killer headed to Iowa, not Canada

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COVINA, Calif. (AP) -- Police in California say the Christmas Eve killings have an Iowan connection, not Canada. 

Authorities on Monday corrected a detail in the aborted escape plan of the killer in last week's Santa shootings in Southern California. They now say Bruce Pardo intended to leave for Iowa, not Canada.

Covina police Lt. Pat Buchanan said Monday that Pardo had planned to take a flight to Moline, Ill., after the Christmas Eve killings so he could visit a friend in nearby Iowa. Buchanan says an earlier report from coroner's officials that Pardo was bound for Canada was incorrect.

Police say pardo planned to fly to Minneapolis, where he would catch a connecting flight to Moline, Illinois.  From there, he was planning to drive a rental car to a friend's house in Columbus Junction, Iowa. 

California authorities say they did talk to the person in Columbus Junction, but wouldn't release a name.  Along with the plane ticket to Moline, police say they also found $17,000 in cash.

Police say Pardo was dressed in a Santa suit when he opened fire on the victims and then burned down the house with a homemade explosive device filled with racing fuel.

The coroner is still working to identify the badly burned victims.  Police believe they include Pardo's ex-wife, her parents and her siblings.

The attack came six days after his divorce was finalized, and Pardo's friends are still shocked, "He looked like he wouldn't hurt a fly, he looked calm and always had a smile.  I never saw anything otherwise."

Over the weekend, members of Pardo's church prayed for the victims and for understanding. Pardo was an usher for at least five years at the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Los Angeles.

Parishioners say they're especially concerned about the 15 children who lost one or both parents in the rampage.

Local officials plan a public meeting Monday night to discuss the community's concerns.

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