Pleasanton woman killed in Castro Valley murder-suicide

ACSO identifies estranged husband as shooter

A Pleasanton woman was killed by her estranged husband, who then turned the gun on himself, at the Castro Valley home of the man's mother last month, an Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesman confirmed on Monday.

The victim in the murder-suicide was identified as 44-year-old Lisa Deanne Carlson, according to Sgt. Ray Kelly.

The gunman, who had recently moved into his mother's guest house, was identified as Steven Michael Carlson, 48, according to Kelly.

Alameda County Superior Court records show the Carlsons were legally separated in 2008, and Lisa Carlson initiated divorce proceedings by filing a dissolution of marriage this March, though the case had not yet been finalized.

Deputies discovered the bodies of Lisa Carlson and Steven Carlson in the detached guest house on the 20500 block of Forest Avenue in Castro Valley on the morning of June 26. Deputies were on a welfare check after a relative called to say they hadn't heard from a family member in several days, according to Kelly.

Upon entering the guest house, deputies found a woman and a man -- later identified as Lisa Carlson and Steven Carlson -- who appeared to have been dead for several days from gunshot wounds, along with obvious signs of foul play, Kelly said. Investigators believe the deaths may have occurred on June 23.

The case was initially classified as a double murder out of an abundance of caution given the condition of the crime scene, but the sergeant alleged the investigation soon revealed Steven Carlson was the shooter and Lisa Carlson the victim in a murder-suicide. A precise motive has not been identified publicly.

Kelly confirmed there is no connection between these Carlsons and Steven John Carlson, the former Pleasanton man convicted in 2014 of murdering Foothill High School classmate Tina Faelz as a teenager in 1984 -- a cold case that rocked Pleasanton for decades until DNA evidence led to an arrest in 2011.

Steven J. Carlson, who is about one year older than Steven M. Carlson, remains in prison for killing Faelz, although an appeals court reduced his conviction to second-degree murder in 2017, with the Court of Appeal determining prosecutors hadn't proved the element of premeditation and deliberate intent needed for a first-degree murder conviction.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.


1 person likes this
Posted by Debby
a resident of Birdland
on Jul 3, 2019 at 6:59 am

My thoughts and prayers go out to both families, especially the mother of Steven M. Carlson because the violent deaths were on her property and most likely relatives were asking for a well fare check on her.

May both Steven and Lisa rest in peace.

1 person likes this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Jul 4, 2019 at 2:58 pm

I lived in that cottage for about 12 years and knew the family very well. Lisa was a warm and loving person and Steve was a good guy. I lost touch when I moved to Georgia, but if any of the family are reading this, I just want you to know my thought and prayers are with you all. I'm deeply sorry to hear about this tragedy.

Like this comment
Posted by Silverfox
a resident of Castlewood
on Jul 6, 2019 at 11:16 pm

Silverfox is a registered user.

the welfare checks came from co-workers at Safeway of Lisa. Not for the murderers mother.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox.

Couples Counseling, Al Pacino Style
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,482 views

Talking traffic with Mike Tassano
By | 4 comments | 852 views

After falling at airport, Chris Miller finds stepping back from civic duties a tough start
By Jeb Bing | 0 comments | 74 views