Friends and family are in shock and disbelief over this week's murder-suicide of a father and son found dead in their unincorporated Los Gatos home Wednesday evening by a neighbor and a relative.
The two men have been identified by
Santa Clara County Sheriff's officials as Imad Ed Daou, 50, a prominent local developer; and son Andrew Daou, 22. A five shot .38-caliber Smith and Wesson revolver, registered to Imad Ed Daou, was recovered at the scene in his possession.
"We're all pretty devastated. Valley Christian [High School] ... even though the kids go away to college ... we're a pretty tight-knit family," said family friend Michael Schmidt, whose three boys knew Andrew while he attended the elite, private San Jose school.
Just this past Monday, Schmidt's son, Anthony, had seen Andrew at the first meeting of a Bible study group of Valley Christian alumni in Campbell. About 10 young men attended, Schmidt said.
The gathering, held at the home of former alum Ben Moreno, included prayers of gratitude, fellowshipping and a plan to tackle "the word of God," Schmidt added.
Moreno, a good friend of Andrew's, is said to have helped him during his bout with Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma three years ago, Schmidt said.
"Andrew had a relationship with Jesus Christ ... it started when he was battling his cancer," Schmidt said.
"He was a loved kid. He was very respectful of all his teachers. He had a great sense of humor, but was very quiet. He was extremely focused on the classroom and the basketball court. He was a quiet leader."
Friend Rob Fair, 20, who saw Andrew Monday evening in the Bible study group, said it was apparent that Andrew was holding on to this faith to endure a recurrence of Non-Hodgkins. "He was a strong Christian ... he helped organize the Bible study group. He was one of the leaders.
"We're all in shock and disbelief. When we first heard it, we didn't know what to think. It goes from shock to disbelief to maybe a little bit of anger ... It's surreal."
He remembered Andrew as having a dry sense of humor that would make everyone laugh. "He wouldn't be trying to crack jokes, but he would crack them anyway. When it got time to be serious, he was a leader in topics that were deep."
About the Bible study group, Fair said: "We were just trying to get together with other believers who are friends and try to dive into the word [scriptures]. Andrew was instrumental in the formation of this group."
Christopher Schmidt, 20, also knew Andrew through his friendship with his oldest brother, Anthony. "They played basketball together for all these years and that's how we became friends ... He was really nice and very funny."
When he saw him Monday evening at the Bible study group, he said he had to do a double take because Andrew, described as being a tall and muscular young man with dark eyes, dark hair and a generous smile, looked a lot thinner than his usual weight.
"We've been really emotional about this. My older brother called us Wednesday night and told us and we couldn't believe it. I had to walk out of the room."
Michael Schmidt said he would hold on the wistful memories he has of the father and son he met nine years ago when Andrew was a seventh-grader at Valley Christian Junior High School.
His son, Anthony, would go on to play with Andrew on the Valley Christian High School basketball team, where Andrew was a four-year starter.
"They were close friends all the way through," the grief-stricken father said. "They stayed in touch through his time at the University of San Diego and through his cancer treatment."
In 2009, Andrew had been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma, which was treated, was in remission for a couple of years and had just recurred, Schmidt said.
Other family friends who didn't want to be identified remembered Ed Daou as a father who had high expectations for his children, attended all of Andrew's basketball games and seemed like a wonderful provider for his family.
But they said he also had a dark side. Ed Daou was described as quiet all the time, his wife, Carmen Hamady Daou, more outgoing.
The rippling effect of the devastation has now touched the family of Tessa Furtado, who is said to have been Andrew's girlfriend, they lamented.
Tessa's father, Richard Furtado, is the owner of South Bay Construction, which is building a new arts building on campus.
"They're quite distraught," Schmidt said.
According to the Mercury News, the neighbor who found the bodies said Ed Daou was an abusive husband who snapped when his wife left him. It quotes Sandra Ventura as saying that she thinks Daou killed his son to punish his wife for leaving him. Ventura is a family friend who's lived across the street from the Daous for 18 years on Clara Street. Carmen Hamady Daou left her husband three weeks ago and filed for divorce July 6. According to the article, Ventura went to take a look at the house after Carmen urged her to do so. She couldn't reach her son and was worried about him.
Andrew Daou's Facebook page shows a photo of himself with his girlfriend. His profile information says he graduated from Valley Christian High School in San Jose in 2007, the number-one rule in life is to "play like a champion." He declares his love for basketball, music, the beach and philosophizing.
The date and place of a memorial service for Andrew has still not been decided, according to Valley Christian High School Principal Mark Lodewyk.
"This tragedy has dramatically affected our community and our thoughts and prayers are with Andrew's family," Lodewyk said.
"Andrew was an incredibly caring and kind young man. His humble spirit was a blessing on our campus and in our community. He was one of those guys who brought the best out of others. His strong relationship with the Lord was strengthened through his fight against cancer. He will be deeply missed and his relationships will be treasured forever," Lodewyk added.