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Janitor Mourns Tragic Murders in Family

By JENIFER L. STEINHARDT

CRIMSON STAFF WRITER

Two Harvard employees had close ties with the Brockton man who killed his wife, mother-in-law and daughter before taking his own life Monday night.

Manuel Barbosa, crew chief in Quincy House, is the brother of 38-year-old Pedro Barbosa, who committed suicide after fatally shooting his 11-year-old daughter, Karina, his wife, 43-year-old Laurinda Gomes and her mother, 66-year-old Maria Gomes in his home about 25 miles southwest of Boston.

Quincy House Superintendent Ronald W. Levesque said he told Manuel Barbosa to take as much time off as necessary to mourn the deaths of his family members. Barbosa has worked at Harvard for five years.

“He was devastated,” Levesque said. “I was very upset to hear about what happened.”

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Adams House Superintendent Jorge Teixeira said he had a friendship going back years with Laurinda Gomes and Pedro Barbosa. Teixeira said he first met the couple in their native Cape Verde islands. The men worked together for the janitorial company UNICCO in Boston from 1984 to 1988 and remained friends afterward, Teixeira said.

“It was a shock to me. I never knew that side of him,” Teixeira said. “He was a good guy and a very loving father to his kids.”

Teixeira said that just two weeks ago, his wife saw Barbosa at an area Wal-Mart with his daughter.

“She said everything seemed fine then,” Teixeira said.

Teixeira said he has visited Manuel Barbosa—who is also a close friend of his—twice since the tragedy.

“He’s very sad for what happened, not only to his brother, but to the other family members,” Teixeira said.

The shooting was discovered when Pedro Barbosa’s 12-year-old son Justin woke up to gunshots Monday night and yelled for his stepbrother and a visiting cousin.

When police arrived at the scene, Pedro Barbosa was holding a gun to his head. He later fatally shot himself.

Pedro Barbosa’s nieces and nephews said in a statement yesterday that they do not understand his actions.

“We are devastated by his actions and the innocent lives that he took away,” they said. “As we are shocked and confused by this tragedy, we will never truly know what went through his mind the night of the incident.”

Teixeira said anyone wishing to send letters of condolences can mail them to 158 Walnut Street in Somerville.

—Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.

—Staff writer Jenifer L. Steinhardt can be reached at steinhar@fas.harvard.edu.

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