Family, friends and acquaintances struggled Saturday with the reality of what investigators are calling the murders of Ramon and Crusita Sena of Clovis by their adopted son, Daniel Sena, who also killed himself.
Ramon Sena, 64, died late Friday at a Lubbock Hospital, hours after investigators said they discovered him wounded multiple times in a shooting spree that killed Crusita, 66.
The couple was discovered by Curry County Sheriff’s deputies in their home at 4200 Homestead about 11 a.m. Investigators said they found Daniel Sena, 25, about an hour later in his car a few miles from his parents home, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Investigators haven’t disclosed a motive for the killings.
Nina Allen of Clovis, grandmother to one of Daniel Sena’s two children, said he had struggled with alcohol and drugs. Allen said she was told the mother of another of Daniel Sena’s children — a daughter — called police Friday after he made a threat against his parents. The daughter, Allen said, attends Mesa Elementary School, which was locked down as a precaution for about an hour after the shootings were discovered.
Curry County Undersheriff Wesley Waller on Saturday confirmed that Daniel Sena had a violent history with his parents even before the killings.
Court records show Sena was charged in February 2010 with assault against a household member and battery against a household member. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 182 days in jail. The jail time was suspended along with a court order specifying no alcohol or drugs and that Sena attend and complete anger management counseling.
Kim Schiller of Clovis, a family friend of more than two decades, choked back tears as she remembered the Senas.
“This is one of the most tragic losses this city has ever seen,” said Schiller. “And to die like that, it was just senseless.”
Schiller said Crusita — Chris to those who knew the Senas — was her oldest son’s babysitter “from the time he was 6 weeks old until he was 2.”
The Senas, Schiller said, were more like godparents to her children than sitters. Even after Chris stopped watching Schiller’s son to devote all of her time to her newly adopted son Daniel Sena, Schiller said they remained friends.
“He (Daniel) was a little over (age) 2 when they adopted him,” Schiller said. “He was their life.”
Schiller said because her son loved the song “La Bamba,” the Senas bought a video tape and a plastic guitar for him. When Schiller arrived at the Sena home to pick up her son, “He would be standing in front of their TV strumming that plastic guitar and just singing ‘La Bamba, La Bamba.’
“And she had some of the strangest remedies for sick children,” said Schiller, “but they all worked.” Schiller recalled a time when she dropped off her son with a high fever. Chris, Schiller said, peeled and sliced potatoes, soaked them in vinegar, then wrapped them in a bandana around the boy’s forehead.
When Schiller arrived after work to pick up her son, “Here was my son running around in a diaper and a bandana and no fever,” she said. “And when we took that bandana off, you could have had cooked potatoes, they were that hot. But no fever.
“They were some of the most loving people you could have asked for,” said Schiller. “Angels. That’s all I can say to describe the kind of people they were.”
Schiller and Allen described Daniel Sena as a good kid growing up — doted on by his parents.
Allen said Daniel had struggled with alcohol and drugs in recent years. She said she thought he had beaten the addictions but had heard only days before the shootings that he had fallen in with a bad crowd and “was going to be a rapper,” she said.
“It’s sad,” said Allen. “They were very, very sweet, wonderful people. They gave Daniel everything.
“Chris and Ramon were just good people.”