The father of former NASCAR driver Robby Gordon strangled his wife to death and then shot himself to death inside a California home, according to The Associated Press.
Police said the deaths of Robert “Baja Bob” Gordon, 68, and Sharon Gordon, 57, were an apparent murder-suicide, according to Fox News.
Sharon was Robby Gordon’s stepmother.
Baja Bob Gordon was a well-known fixture in the racing world. Wrote one racer on Facebook, “A dark day for our community. A terrible loss. Our hearts go out to the Gordon family. God speed Baja Bob.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. ‘Baja Bob’ Gordon Was a Legendary Off-Road Racer
According to TMZ, Baja Bob Gordon was a “famous off-road racer.” One man on Facebook called Baja Bob “The living legend of the off-Road.”
The condolences poured in on social media, including from famed race car driver Dale Earnhardt, Jr.
NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Jimmie Johnson told The Associated Press he was in “complete and utter shock.” One man wrote, “Legends Never die, they become Angels in heaven. Baja Bob was a hero and legend to many. RIP Bob.”
On Twitter, Bob Gordon referred to himself as “Off-Road Racer & Proud Papa.” CupScene.com said that Baja Bob was Robby Gordon’s father, and Sharon was his stepmother.
One blogger wrote, Robby “Gordon and his father, Bob, are two happy-go-lucky guys who have prided themselves on those family Baja vacations for about 30 years now.”
2. Sharon Gordon Was Strangled & Bob Gordon Shot Himself
The Orange County Register said Sharon Gordon was strangled, and Bob Gordon shot himself. TMZ reported that a butcher knife was found by Sharon’s body and that there was not a history of violence between the couple.
Police said a weapon was recovered inside the residence.
“I’m so sad and I can’t believe it,” Gordon said, according to Fox News.
Autopsies were being conducted September 15, said The Washington Post.
According to USA Today, 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…Gordon is an accomplished off-road racer and started the Indy 500 10 times.”
CupScene said Robby Gordon is a “Cerritos California native” who “helped start the Speed-Energy Formula Off-Road series in 2013 and continues to compete in that series as well as various off-road events.”
3. Bob Gordon’s Best Friend Found the Bodies Inside the Home
Gordon’s friend, Jay Hooker, called police and reported finding the bodies, said KABC-TV.
The Los Angeles Times said family members had asked the neighbor to check on the couple when they couldn’t reach them.
Orange Police Lt. Fred Lopez told the LA Times the family was “distraught” and asked him not to make statements. Neighbors recalled how Sharon and Bob Gordon would be seen walking their dogs in the neighborhood while holding hands, said Fox News.
An unidentified woman was pictured crying outside the home.
Police then entered the residence and found Baja Bob and his wife, Sharon, dead around 5 p.m. on September 14, said the Orange County Register.
4. The Home Was in an Affluent Area of California & Was Owned by Robby Gordon, Reports say
KABC-TV said the home was in Orange, California, and it was owned by Robby Gordon.
Police do not believe a suspect is at large, CBS News reported.
Neighbors also recalled how Bob and Sharon Gordon would be seen “swapping jokes with neighbors, gifting tickets to racing events and delivering feed personally to local equestrians,” The Associated Press said.
The Orange County Register said “Robby Gordon’s off-road racing team, Stadium Super Trucks, will be in Costa Mesa on Friday and Saturday.”
5. Baja Bob’s Daughter, Beccy, Is Married to a Race Car Driver & Had a Baby the Same Day Her Father Died
Baja Bob’s daughter, Beccy Gordon, was a pit reporter for Spike TV, said the newspaper. Beccy is married to race car driver Ryan Hunter-Reay, who won the Indianapolis 500 in 2014.
On Facebook, Ryan Hunter-Reay posted photos of the couple with a new infant on the same day that the bodies of Beccy’s father and stepmother were discovered. Ryan wrote on Facebook, “Another baby RHR is here – happy, healthy baby boy! We are on our way to a full race team. Couldn’t be happier!”
According to The Sporting News, Gordon also has a daughter, Robyn, and Sharon had a daughter, Hailey.