El Cajon standoff another apparent murder-suicide

EL CAJON (CNS) – A search of a burned-out El Cajon house has yielded two bodies, including one believed to be that of a man suspected of fatally shooting his infant daughter and mother-in-law and wounding a police officer, police said.

Authorities believe Kevin James Collier, 32, torched the house after the shooting, and sent text messages to friends telling them what he had allegedly done, according to El Cajon police Lt. Mark Coit.

He said the identities of the bodies found in the rubble could not be immediately identified, but they are believed to be those of Collier and his 51- year-old mother-in-law, Beverly Rakov, who lived in the home.

Another body, believed to be that of his child, was found in a truck, police said.

“(Officers) found a dead child in a truck he uses as a work truck,” Coit told reporters.

The El Cajon Police Department received a call reporting suspicious activity just after 5 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of Prince Street, in a neighborhood between Interstate 8 and El Cajon Valley High School. The caller said a man with a gun entered the house and started a fire, police said.

The gunman fired several shots at responding officers, striking Officer Jarred Slocum in the head, Coit said. The wounded officer's partner pulled him out of the line of fire with the help of a resident.

More officers arrived and got Slocum, a 28-year-old married father of two young children, out of the area. He was taken to Sharp Memorial Hospital, where he underwent surgery, and was listed in critical but stable condition.

According to court records, Collier's wife, Alyssa, filed paperwork last Wednesday to end their year-and-a-half-long marriage and asked for custody of their 14-month-old daughter, Rhilee Jean.

She was not at the house when the gunfire and blaze occurred, but her mother, Rakov, was believed to be home.

Rakov reportedly texted friends, saying that Collier had shown up at the house and taken her “granbaby,” and the residence became fully engulfed in flames not long afterward. Firefighters backed up by a water-dropping helicopter kept the blaze from spreading to nearby homes, which were evacuated.

The El Cajon SWAT team entered the house and found the bodies.

The American Red Cross was providing food and shelter to people evacuated from their homes because of the fire. Most neighbors were allowed to return home, but the residents of the houses immediately adjacent to the Rakov home reportedly will have to stay out for several more days.

Categories: KUSI