“Our little angel was able to keep herself and her brother alive,” Los Angeles police Capt. Maureen Ryan said, according to Fox5. “The baby is a miracle baby, and the little girl is a hero. She’s an absolute hero.”
Investigators cited by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune said the two children were trapped in a home in the Chatsworth neighborhood of Los Angeles for over three days after their father shot their mother on April 18 before turning the gun on himself.
Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department identified the gunman as 46-year-old David Kooros Parsa and the children’s mother as 38-year-old Mihoko Koike, Fox5 reported.
The children were rescued on the afternoon of Sunday, April 21. The shooting is believed to have taken place in the morning hours of Wednesday.
Authorities said both children were unharmed and under the care of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services.
Police cited by KTLA said Parsa shot his wife as she lay in bed in an upstairs room of the couple’s home. He then committed suicide.
The shooting took place on the morning of April 18 around 6 a.m., according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, citing law enforcement sources.
The children remained in their dead parents home for nearly four days.
The children’s grandfather—Parsa’s father—became concerned and on Sunday, April 21, he called the police.
“The officers went out, they did their welfare check, and didn’t find anything unusual,” said LAPD Detective Bob Dinlocker at a news conference Tuesday, according to The Tribune.
Later that day, the grandfather arranged for a real estate agent with keys to the home and neighbors to enter and survey the scene.
Neighbors Olivia and James Robinson told KTLA they found the children inside the home.
“She obviously was in bad condition because she reeked really bad of urine,” Olivia Robinson said of the older child, according to KTLA. “And she had more of a blank stare on her face. She was very, very quiet.”
The dead couple’s infant son was found upstairs, unharmed.
Another neighbor, Tony Medina, took in the 3-year-old into his home and offered her food until police showed up.
“She heard her mom crying, and then what really was kind of heart-wrenching was when she said she saw ‘mommy was broken,'” Medina told CBS Los Angeles.
Facts About Crime in the United States
Violent crime in the United States has fallen sharply over the past 25 years, according to both the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).
The rate of violent crimes fell by 49 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI’s UCR, which only reflects crimes reported to the police.
The violent crime rate dropped by 74 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the BJS’s NCVS, which takes into account both crimes that have been reported to the police and those that have not.
“From 1993 to 2017, the rate of violent victimization declined 74 percent, from 79.8 to 20.6 victimizations per 1,000 persons age 12 or older,” the U.S. Department of Justice stated.
Both studies are based on data up to and including 2017, the most recent year for which complete figures are available.
The FBI recently released preliminary data for 2018. According to the Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report, January to June 2018, violent crime rates in the United States dropped by 4.3 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.
While the overall rate of violent crime has seen a steady downward drop since its peak in the 1990s, there have been several upticks that bucked the trend.
Between 2014 and 2016, the murder rate increased by more than 20 percent, to 5.4 per 100,000 residents, from 4.4, according to an Epoch Times analysis of FBI data. The last two-year period that the rate soared so quickly was between 1966 and 1968.
The property crime rate fell by 50 percent between 1993 and 2017, according to the FBI, and by 69 percent according to BJS.
According to the FBI’s preliminary figures for the first half of 2018, property crime rates in the United States dropped by 7.2 percent compared to the same six-month period in 2017.
As with violent crime, the FBI survey only takes into account crime reported to the police, while the BJS figures include reported and nonreported crime.
Public Perception About Crime
Despite falling long-term trends in both violent crime and property crime, opinion surveys repeatedly show Americans believe that crime is up.
The vast majority of Gallup polls taken since 1993 show that over 60 percent of Americans believe there is more crime in the United States on a national scale compared to the previous year.
Pew Research surveys show similar findings. A survey in late 2016 revealed that 57 percent of registered voters said crime in the nation as a whole increased since 2008, despite both FBI and BJS data showing double-digit drops in violent and property crimes.
Perceptions differed on a national versus local level.
Surveys of perceptions of crime levels on a local scale showed that fewer than 50 percent of respondents in every single Gallup survey done since 1996 believed that crime in their area had risen compared to the previous year.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.