Police say man shot mom, fled on tractor

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (AP) — A Southern California woman who was killed by her 29-year-old son over the weekend before he fled on a tractor and was killed by police was granted a three-year restraining order against him in 2008.

Ventura County court records obtained Monday show that Sally Ann Carnan, 67, filed for the restraining order against her son Ryan Carnan because of concerns of domestic violence. Authorities said he killed her in a chaotic and violent scene Saturday.

Carnan, who had served in the military, was never arrested but had three mental health-related contacts with the Simi Valley Police Department, most recently in July 2008, said Cmdr. Stephanie Shannon.

Police were alerted to the killing on Mellow Lane in suburban Los Angeles at about 4:45 p.m. Saturday by a phone call from Ryan Carnan’s brother, who told them that Ryan had just called to say he had shot their mother in their home.

Authorities said Ryan Carnan left the home ablaze, shot at a random passer-by and fled roughly half a mile along a horse trail by tractor before police converged and killed him in a shootout. The incident is under investigation.

The Carnan family had lived in the quiet close-knit neighborhood since the 1970s, and Sally Carnan, a widow and beloved secretary at a local high school, had just celebrated her daughter’s wedding in the home last month, said neighbor Carolyn Hunter. Family members did not respond to requests for comment.

Hunter said she had just returned from the beach Saturday and was feeding the horses at her home when gunfire burst out across the street.

“It was like a canon, and by the second shot, I ducked. … Then three more shots were fired,” Hunter said. “It was like, boom, boom, boom (with) a second between each one.”

She said she and another neighbor immediately thought of Ryan, who sometimes threw temper tantrums in high school and would rush outdoors hollering and throwing things. He lived with his mother, and his truck was in the driveway.

“We went, ‘Oh my God, he shot her,’” Hunter said. The neighbor ran to the house in her flip-flops and shorts, pounding on the door to try to save Sally, but nobody opened it.

On Monday, investigators were still trying to determine what set off the 30-minute spree that saw police converging onto the quiet hilly neighborhood in full tactical gear.

“Unfortunately, Ryan and his mother Sally are really the only two people that know exactly what occurred in that residence, and what contributed to the events occurring at all,” Shannon said.

Police said Monday that Ryan Carnan carried a handgun with him, and he had advanced firearms skills and training. They declined to confirm whether it was registered to him or legally in his possession.

Hunter said Carnan had a temper problem but there were no indications he’d take such drastic actions. Often he’d be spotted out mowing the grass or at local garage sales.

“The mother loved her son, for whatever problems she had, she was there for him,” Hunter said. “It was a tragedy it happened.”

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