SAN JOSE -- Rushing into his neighbor's home Monday after hearing a hysterical woman screaming outside, a Marlene Court resident saw his friend sprawled on the floor dead and a stranger on the couch with a pistol in his lap and a bullet hole in his head.
Water had filled the sink from a faucet left on, spilling onto the floor, and the neighbor -- who gave his name as Tony but declined to give a surname -- realized that his friend likely had been slain the night before, when he'd heard someone yell a profanity followed by three shots, a pause, then one more.
"I thought, 'God, that was the shots we heard,' " he said. "When I saw the gun still there, I knew what had happened."
San Jose police said Wednesday that it was an "ongoing feud" between the two men that resulted in the weekend murder-suicide, and Tony said he heard the same from the hysterical woman, who he identified as neighbor Kevin McCarroll's girlfriend. He said she is also in a relationship with shooter Robert Scott Smith.
Both men were 49 years old. Police said Smith hailed from Sunnyvale, while McCarroll lived in the South San Jose townhome where they were found.
Tony said McCarroll had three daughters, ages 8, 10 and 13.
"He was just a devoted dad," said Tony. "All he did was spend time with his daughters; he was with them almost every day. He was like the dad I wish I had."
The bodies were found Monday afternoon in the neighborhood near Cherry Avenue and Almaden Expressway.
Police said Wednesday that McCarroll and Smith were "longtime acquaintances" who had been feuding, but that this was the first known physical clash between them.
Women who answered the door at addresses connected to the men declined to comment, with one at a McCarroll residence asking for her privacy to be respected before quickly shutting the door.
Tony said that after hearing the shots around 9 p.m. Sunday, he and other neighbors went outside to investigate. They peered over McCarroll's fence, and everything appeared in order, and no one could tell where the shots originated from so they didn't call police.
"In retrospect, maybe we should have," he said. "But we did go out and check it out and walked around the building. But even if we had gone into Kevin's home, he would have already been dead."
Tony said that many residents in the tidy neighborhood of townhouses routinely leave their front doors open, including McCarroll. He said that the running faucet indicated that his friend had been unexpectedly ambushed.
"It's just really sad," he said. "It's just an unfortunate thing to happen to such a nice guy."
Staff writer Robert Salonga contributed to this report. Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.