Longtime Burbank kindergarten teacher was killed by her son, police say

Kindergarten teacher Karyn Lombardo gives some information to new parents and children on the first day of school at Bret Harte Elementary School in Burbank on Monday, August 12, 2019.
Karyn Lombardo, left, at Bret Harte Elementary School in Burbank in 2019. She was found dead in her home Tuesday night. (Tim Berger / Burbank Leader)

A 25-year-old Burbank man has been charged with killing his mother, a longtime Burbank elementary school teacher, police said.

Police officers and paramedics found Karyn Lombardo, 57, unconscious inside her home in the 800 block of North Avon Street about 10 p.m. Tuesday, the Burbank Police Department said in a statement.

Lombardo, a teacher at Bret Harte Elementary School, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her son, Kyle Lombardo, was booked on suspicion of murder based on evidence at the home that he "caused her death during an altercation in the family home," where he also lived, according to police. They did not provide further details.

Lombardo is being held at the Burbank jail in lieu of $2-million bond, according to Los Angeles County inmate records.

On Thursday, L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón announced that Lombardo had been charged with one count of murder.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of life in state prison, the district attorney's office said in a statement.

Vince Lombardo, the teacher's husband, told KTLA-TV that their son suffered from mental illness and that police had been called to their home before.

"She loved him more than anything and tried to help him," he said. "All of her students love her. Coming through the system here, there were students who became teachers because of her."

Lombardo taught at the school for 30 years in a variety of roles, including teaching kindergarten, intervention and performing arts chorus, John Paramo, superintendent of the Burbank Unified School District, said in a statement.

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"Over the course of her highly accomplished career, Ms. Lombardo touched the lives of thousands of students, parents, and colleagues, who will be mourning this loss in the days to come," Paramo wrote. "Her dedication, warmth, and passion for teaching touched many students' and colleagues' lives."

Paramo said Lombardo began her career with the district as a bilingual teacher at Joaquin Miller Elementary School in 1990. Three years later, she transferred to Harte.

School psychologists and social service workers will be on site in coming days to support students and staff, Paramo said.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.