Coroner: Joseph Gatto Killed by Gunshot Wound; Death Ruled Homicide

After conducting an autopsy, physicians have officially ruled the death of California Assemblyman Mike Gatto’s father as a homicide, the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said.

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The late Joseph Gatto (right) stands with his son, 43rd District Assemblyman Mike Gatto, at the younger Gatto’s swearing-in ceremony in 2010. (Credit: Assemblyman Mike Gatto/via Facebook)

The coroner’s examination, which took place midday Friday, determined that Joseph Gatto, 78, died of a gunshot wound to the abdomen.

Gatto’s body was first discovered by his daughter Wednesday night in his Silver Lake home when she went to check on him.

The victim was found slumped over a desk and had been shot once, said Lt. Richard Parks of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Gatto’s home was found ransacked, according to police, leading them to explore the possibility that he may have been shot during a home-invasion robbery.

No information about possible suspects had been released.

Gatto was an art teacher at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and worked as a jewelry craftsman in his later years.

KTLA’s Liberte Chan contributed to this report.