Two days after a deadly shooting in the quiet community on the Tule Indian Reservation near Porterville, tribal police are making sure trespassers don't get to the grieving family.
Friends of the family are still in shock. Margarita Alvarez says she used to make crafts with the Celaya family. She thinks depression sparked the shooting because so many residents are isolated.
"There are a lot of people up here in the mountains who are depressed," Alvarez says. “They’re just by themselves so much.”
Saturday night, Tulare County Sheriff's deputies say 31-year-old Hector Celaya shot his mother and two uncles before turning the gun on his three children.
Deputies found the bodies of Celaya’s mother, 60-year-old Irene Celaya, and her brother, 61-year-old Francisco Moreno inside a trailer. They found 53-year-old Bernard Franco’s body in a shed. Detectives also found Celaya’s 6-year-old son Andrew with a gunshot wound on the family's compound on Chimney Road.
Near the family's trailer lies four candles and a red bow in memory of the victims. Deputies say Celaya shot his two daughters and led deputies on a chase with the girls in his jeep. 8-year-old Alyssa Celaya later died. Her 5-year-old sister Linea was hospitalized.
Deputies say Celaya shot at deputies and they fired back, striking Celaya. He died several hours later.
Celaya's cousin Mike Franco says Celaya always had a lot on his mind and was alone. He says he heard Celaya fire shots near his home recently.
“Well, I hear the gun go off every once in a while, but that's not unusual around here," Franco says. “It's not a coincidence. It's sounds premeditated, but who's to say? Who knows?”
Celaya's surviving daughter and son are expected to recover from their wounds.