The deaths of racecar driver Robby Gordon’s father and stepmother are being investigated as a possible murder-suicide, police in Southern California confirmed Thursday night.
The Orange County Coroner’s Office determined that Robert “Bob” Gordon died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound and the death of Sharon Gordon was due to strangulation, Orange police Lt. Fred Lopez said in a statement sent to USA TODAY Sports.
Lopez said earlier Thursday that a firearm was recovered from the residence.
Police in Orange received a 911 call from a neighbor at 5 p.m. Wednesday that reported there were two bodies inside the Gordons’ residence, Lopez said. The responding officers found the bodies of Bob Gordon, 68, and Sharon Gordon, 57.
“I’m so sad and I can’t believe it,” Gordon told reporters at the home before the cause of death was announced.
Neighbor Jill Dombroske said the Gordons were longtime residents of the quiet neighborhood where large homes sit on expansive hillside properties and many people own horses. Residents were out Thursday morning walking and riding horses on dirt trails that run along the winding hillside roads.
“I feel very sad,” she said. “Everyone here will be very sad.”
Robby Gordon, 47, is a former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver and owner.
He won three Sprint Cup races in a career that spanned parts of 19 seasons. Known as one of the most versatile and aggressive drivers in the sport, Gordon is an accomplished off-road racer and started the Indy 500 10 times. He nearly won the 1999 Indy 500 before running out of fuel in the closing laps.
Gordon is one of only four drivers, joining John Andretti, Tony Stewart and Kurt Busch, to compete in the Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 on the same day.
One of Bob Gordon's daughters, Beccy Hunter-Reay, is married to Verizon IndyCar Series driver Ryan Hunter-Reay.
Robby Gordon said his father, an accomplished road racer known as “Baja Bob”, instilled in him a passion for motorsports and competition.
“He taught me at a young age that 1 horsepower wasn’t going to be enough,” Gordon said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.