A California man suspected in the double mercy killing of his ailing wife and comatose sister was arrested Wednesday, shocking his neighbors who described the 60-year-old as "the sweetest guy you could ever imagine."
Lance Holger Anderson was taken into custody Wednesday on suspicion of shooting his wife at their Canyon Country home and then his sister at a Los Angeles nursing home, Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Vernon told The Associated Press.
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Anderson's 63-year-old wife had dementia and his sister, Lisa Nave, 58, had been in the Country Villa Sheraton for five years and was in a "vegetative state" when her brother allegedly walked in Wednesday morning and shot her in the head, Vernon said.
"I want people to understand that this man did not randomly walk into a hospital to commit this crime," Vernon said.
A resident, David Chabolla, said the gunshot sounded like a balloon popping. He saw Anderson sitting in the nursing home's courtyard with his head down before police arrested him on suspicion of murder.
A small-caliber handgun was recovered, police said. Anderson remains jailed.
After hearing about the killing, concerned family members contacted authorities and asked them to check on his wife's welfare. Her body was found Wednesday morning in the couple's three-bedroom town home on a leafy, curving street in the Canyon Country area of Santa Clarita, a northern Los Angeles County suburb.
She had been shot with the gun found at the nursing home, a sheriff's statement said.
It wasn't immediately clear if Anderson had a lawyer who could comment on the case. Calls to home and cellphone numbers listed in public records went unanswered.
Anderson and his wife moved into their home about five or six months ago, neighbors said.
Anderson "was introducing himself to anybody that was going into the driveway" of the town home complex, neighbor Grace Madrigal recalled.
Anderson said the couple had come from Arizona because of his wife's health. While he often left in the mornings, she was more reclusive, exchanging a few words while smoking or drinking coffee on the couple's balcony, Madrigal said.
"He treated her like she was a jewel ... because she was so fragile" and was sometimes seen on the balcony with her, caressing her hand, Madrigal said.
Kristen and Lee Booker said Anderson offered them food and help moving furniture after fire damaged their home in September. Another neighbor recalled Anderson fixing her flat tire.
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