Image: Family evacuated
Damian Dovarganes  /  AP
A member of the Los Angeles Police Department's Crisis Response Team, left, helps evacuate a family living next to the home of a man, who apparently  shot and killed his wife and five young children before  committing suicide at their home in Wilmington, Calif. on Tuesday.
updated 1/27/2009 6:23:31 PM ET 2009-01-27T23:23:31

A medical technician fatally shot his wife, five young children and himself Monday after claiming in a note to a TV station that he and his wife both had just been fired from their jobs. Police urged those facing tough economic times to get help rather than resort to violence.

"Today our worst fear was realized," Los Angeles Deputy Chief Kenneth Garner said. "It's just not a solution. There's just so many ways you find alternatives to doing something so horrific and drastic as this."

In the letter he faxed to a TV station, Ervin Lupoe claimed he and his wife both had been fired and that she suggested they kill themselves and their children, too.

"Why leave the children to a stranger?" the man wrote, according to KABC-TV.

Although the fax asserted that the woman was involved, police Lt. John Romero said Lupoe was the suspect in the murders.

'Should have blown your brains out'
KABC reported that the man claimed in the fax that a medical center administrator rebuffed them when they showed up to work, told them to file a union grievance and said, "You should have blown your brains out."

The Kaiser Permanente statement made no comment on the claims in Lupoe's fax. Police described the fax but did not release the detail reported by KABC.

"He was going through some critical situations at the job, that's what he described in that two-page letter, ongoing problems at the job, and that's what prompted him to take his own life and his family's, from what was said in the fax letter," Garner said.

Police said the child victims were an 8-year-old girl, twin 5-year-old girls and twin 2-year-old boys. Their names were not released. Lupoe's Web page on the Facebook social networking site showed smiling photos of the children.

'My whole family's been shot'
The TV station called police after receiving the fax, and a police communications center also received a call from a man who stated, "'I just returned home and my whole family's been shot,'" Garner said.

"There is a disconnect but we believe our suspect is the one who called," Garner said.

Officers rushed to the two-story home in Wilmington, near the sprawling twin ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, shortly before 8:30 a.m., apparently within minutes of the killings. Garner said the officers could still smell the gunshot residue and a revolver was found by the man's body.

The bodies of the girls and the father were in an upstairs bedroom. The mother and boys were in a bedroom downstairs.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Video: Recently unemployed man kills himself, family

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