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A California Man Went to a Gift Exchange. Instead of Giving Presents, He Fatally Shot His Grandma, Father's Girlfriend.

Man Killed Two Family Members During Christmas Gift Exchange
Source: Fresno County Sheriff's Office; MEGA

Austin Alvarez pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to 114 years total in prison, officials said.

Jun. 26 2024, Published 3:00 a.m. ET

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A California man opened fire at a Christmas present exchange, killing his grandmother and father’s girlfriend. Now, a judge sentenced the man to decades in prison for the murders, RadarOnline.com has learned.

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Man Killed Two Family Members During Christmas Gift Exchange
Source: UNSPLASH

The shootings took place at a Christmas gift exchange in 2021.

The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office in California announced the arrest of Austin Alvarez, 26, in connection with the double murder. He was charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder, Front Page Detectives reported.

Around 1:45 PM on Dec. 25, 2021, Fresno County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a shots fired call at a home in Reedley, California. There, deputies found two women with gunshot wounds.

Man Killed Two Family Members During Christmas Gift Exchange
Source: UNSPLASH

Officers responded to the home in Reedley, California, regarding a shooting and found two women with gunshot wounds.

According to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office, the suspect, Alvarez, left the area in a GMC pickup before officers arrived.

Several police agencies searched for Alvarez and found him in nearby Orange Cove, and he was then taken into custody.

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Man Killed Two Family Members During Christmas Gift Exchange
Source: UNSPLASH

Austin Alvarez was taken into custody after shooting his grandmother and father's girlfriend dead.

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Witnesses said Alvarez arrived at the house, where some of his family members gathered to exchange Christmas gifts.

During the visit, Alvarez opened fire, hitting his grandmother — Magdalena Alvarez — and his father’s girlfriend — Meisa Rashid.

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Man Killed Two Family Members During Christmas Gift Exchange
Source: UNSPLASH

A judge now sentenced Alvarez to 114 years to life in prison for the murders.

Alvarez then shot at his father, who was in a parked vehicle, as the suspect left the house, according to the sheriff’s office. His father was not injured.

Police say they never determined the motive for the shooting. Court efforts tried to raise doubts about the mental health of Alvarez, but a judge previously ruled that he was mentally competent, KFSN-TV reported.

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On June 20, a judge sentenced Alvarez to a total of 114 years to life for the murders after Alvarez pleaded no contest to the charges, saying he would not fight the two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder any longer.

During the sentencing, Fresno County Superior Court Judge Geoffrey Wilson said, "Probation is denied, and the defendant is committed to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation."

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