Five people have been killed and two injured after a man went on a shooting rampage in greater Buenos Aires last night. A baby of 34 weeks, due to be born by caesarean today, also lost its life.
In what some are describing as another case of gender-related violence, 35 year old Diego Loscalzo, an employee with Metrovías, allegedly shot his wife, Romina Maguna, a police officer from the San Martin police station, before turning the gun on multiple members of her family.
Loscalzo escaped and was caught hours later by police in Río Segundo, Córdoba, over 600km away from the scene of the crime.
How did the violence unfold?
According to La Nacion, the bloody series of events began a little after 10pm on the bottom floor of the couple’s house in William Morris, a town in the municipality of Hurlingham.
During an argument that went from “screams to blows“, in the words of La Nacion, 35 year old Loscalzo allegedly snatched Maguna’s firearm and shot her four times.
“My sister was in the room with her partner and he went crazy and they started arguing,” said Romina’s brother to the press. “He fired four shots into my sister’s chest.”
At this point, it appears that Romina’s sister, Valeria, who lived above the pair, heard the shots and went downstairs to investigate. She was shot seven times by Loscalzo and died in the stairwell. Her partner, Darío Diaz, was also shot, and later died in hospital from his injuries.
Romina’s neighbor, Cinthia López, also attempted to defend Romina, and was shot twice by Diego in the leg. She was taken to hospital and is now reported to be in stable condition.
“When he came down the stairs, they tried to get the gun away from him and he shot my other sister seven times. He also shot a female friend of the friend, he shattered her femur – I was just talking to her,” said Diego Maguna.
It’s not entirely clear what happened next, but the massacre continued in particularly bloody fashion. According to Clarin — and in what would appear to be a coldly calculated move — Loscalzo called Romina’s family and told them she had had an accident. He then set off towards their house, before intercepting four family members in their car as they drove to Romina’s aid. At this point, Loscalzo opened fire, killing two people, a baby, and injuring two others.
According to La Nacion, however, Loscalzo fled at this point, and the four family members, one of whom was armed, pursued him in their car, a Renault 19.
In any case, the result was equally bloody. On a street corner about six minutes from Loscalzo and Maguna’s home, Loscalzo shot Romina’s 34 year old brother, José Eduardo, who died at the scene, as well as Romina’s mother, Juana Paiva, who died from her injuries while in the hospital. He also shot José Eduardo’s partner, Mónica, 36, who was 34 weeks pregnant, in the abdomen. Mónica survived but her her unborn baby did not. The final victim, a 12 year old girl, received bullet wounds to her legs, but is said to be medically stable.
“My brother went to look for her and he [Loscalzo] killed him, he killed my mother, he shot my sister-in-law, who lost her baby, and he my sister-in-law’s daughter,” said Romina’s brother, Diego Maguna.
Loscalzo then escaped, boarding a bus early this morning. After an intense manhunt, he was detained at around midday today in the town of Río Segundo, in Córdoba, with nothing but a “leather jacket,” according to C5N.
“Please Papa Don’t Kill Me”
A disturbing account has since emerged of Loscalzo putting a gun to his 11 year old son’s chest.
A neighbor, named in the press as Marcelo, heard knocks at his door at 10:25PM last night. He described what happens next:
“The victim’s child (11 year old Uriel) went running, came to my house and I let him in quickly thinking he was being robbed. I took him into a room to calm him down and he said that Diego had put a gun to his chest and he said “papa don’t kill me, don’t kill me” — even though he wasn’t the biological son he called him papa,” said Marcelo.
The child also shouted “El Chino (Loscalzo’s nickname) killed my mom, El Chino killed my mum!” according to the same neighbor.
According to declarations made by Marcelo, the couple’s neighbor, to the press, the relationship between the couple was “normal” and “they got along well.”
However, details are emerging that suggest a different story. Loscalzo had already been reported for stealing Maguna’s service firearm and vest, according to Clarin.
The ultimate import of On Con Vos radio, Public Prosecutor for Gender-related violence, Paula Hondeville, said “there was no previous reports of gender-related violence, only the robbery of the service jacket and gun.”
Still, given the massacre centers on an intimate relationship turned violent, as well as what would appear to be an attempt to completely destroy everything to do with a woman, this may be another in what is turning out to be a long and apparently unceasing list of femicides.