A retired orthodontist picked up his elderly inlaws from an assisted living facility in the San Fernando Valley Friday afternoon, drove them to his home on Bayview Court, parked the car in the driveway and killed both of them with a handgun before turning the gun on himself.
The gunshots were heard by his wife, who was inside the house in the normally quiet Bridgeport neighborhood. She came out and found the three victims in the car, a late-model dark Acura sedan. She called 911, but it was too late.
Detectives did not identify the victims, but sources who asked for anonymity told KHTS that the orthodontist was Martin Strassner, 64. Homicide Lt. John Corina identified the elderly couple only as Strassner’s wife’s parents, adding that her mother was 90 and her father was 95. Corina also confirmed that the crime was apparently a murder-suicide, adding that the gunman had left a note in the car.
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Corina said that Strassner had been dealing with depression, but that his motives and thoughts prior to the murder were not clear.
As detectives began their investigation, one of the Strassner sons arrived at the home around 5 p.m.; Susan Strassman, who discovered the bodies, was met by a grief counselor who sat with her in an ambulance before she left the scene with sheriff’s detectives.
The bodies remained in the car for several hours. Neighbors and the media crowded behind yellow crime scene tape, just down the block from Bridgeport Elementary School. No children were at the school when the shooting occurred.
Martin Strassner had a dental office on Camp Plenty Road in Canyon Country before he moved his practice to White Oak Avenue in Granada Hills. He had recently retired. Susan Strassner works as a financial manager for a group of health providers.