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California man accused of fatally shooting his grandmother, father's girlfriend as family opened Christmas gifts

Austin Alvarez, 23, also shot in his father's direction, according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office. He was arrested on murder and attempted murder charges.
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A California man shot and killed his grandmother and his father’s girlfriend as the family opened Christmas presents, authorities said.

Fresno County sheriff’s deputies found the victims after responding to a call about gunshots at a home in Reedley around 1:45 p.m. on Saturday.

Police said they learned that the suspect, identified as 23-year-old Austin Alvarez, arrived at the home as Christmas gifts were being exchanged and opened fire, fatally striking Magdalena Alvarez, his 58-year-old grandmother, and Meisa Rashid, his father’s 39-year-old girlfriend.

"As Alvarez was leaving the house, he noticed his father in a parked vehicle," the sheriff's office said in a news release. "Alvarez fired shots in his direction, but did not strike him."

He then left in a GMC pickup truck, according to the release.

Other law enforcement agencies were alerted to look out for the truck. Officers tracked Alvarez down in Orange Cove, approximately 10 miles away from the house, the sheriff's office said.

Alvarez was booked into the Fresno County Jail on two charges of murder and one charge of attempted murder, with his bail set at $2.5 million. He remains in custody as of Monday morning, according to jail records.

It is not immediately clear if Alvarez has a lawyer.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office said a motive hasn’t been established and the investigation is ongoing.

Police asked anyone with information about the case to contact Detective Richard Antunez at 559-600-8221 or Valley Crime Stoppers at 559-498-7867,