Ruben Ramirez lived in the house with his mother, who took care of her grandchildren during the day. A neighbor described Ramirez as a ticking time bomb because, in his opinion, he showed signs of mental health issues. Sheriff's deputies were called there multiple times for disturbances.
ABC7 News talked to neighbor after neighbor along Viewmont Avenue. Each one expressed shocked at the horrible murders of a 48-year-old grandmother and her 1-year-old grandson and the stabbing of her 3-year-old granddaughter.
But next door neighbor Mike Medrano knew trouble was brewing, involving Ramirez, whom police captured in San Francisco Wednesday night. Ramirez is the son of the dead woman and uncle to the dead child.
"He's had several instances where the police have come over, and there's like domestic violence in the home where they've been called over to deal with him," Medrano said. "He's actually fought the police before."
Medrano says Ramirez would be taken away for 72 hours -- the time period commonly used by law enforcement to determine a person's mental state. And then he would return home.
"He has to come back, and if the family takes him in like they do, just a potential time bomb waiting to go off, and this is the outcome," Medrano said.
Santa Clara County Mental Health Director Dr. Nancy Pena explains what happens during a 72 hour hold.
"They're evaluated by a physician, they're monitored, they're given medicine, their history is known, and the doctor makes a decision as to whether or not they need continued care beyond the 72 hour hold," Pena said.
Medrano heard screams coming from the house next door when the father of the third stabbing victim, a 3-year-old girl, arrived to pick her up. Medrano describes what he saw.
"He had her on the couch and was putting pressure on her wounds, and she was completely covered with blood," Medrano said. "It was very gruesome…I think she was calling him Daddy, and she spoke to him. She was alert. Her eyes were looking around."
Ramirez has been booked into the Santa Clara County Jail. How he got to San Francisco is unclear. Neighbors say he doesn't drive. The 3-year-old girl who survived her stabbing is in stable condition. A source says she is responsive and alert.