Can you believe Detective Rodriguez actually said, "somehow it went off?"
EL MONTE - The fatal shooting of an El Monte man by his blind brother last week was not a murder, but rather a tragic accident, a homicide detective said Friday.
Erik Diaz, 19, was fatally shot about 1 a.m. on Jan. 16 in the apartment where he lived with his brother in the 4100 block of Rowland Avenue, sheriff's and police officials said.
His brother, Alex Diaz, 24, who is completely blind, was initially arrested following the shooting but was released Thursday, Detective Q. Rodriguez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Homicide Bureau said.
"We don't believe it was an intentional shooting," said the detective, who described the incident as a "very unfortunate accident."
The brothers had a good relationship, and there was no argument prior to the shooting, he said.
Alex Diaz was devastated when detectives told him his brother had died, Rodriguez said. "He took it extremely hard."
The gun belonged to Alex Diaz, Rodriguez said, who told investigators he had it for protection from local gang members. He was not believed to be involved in gangs himself.
Officials were still investigating where he got the gun.
The shooting took placed as the brothers were in the living room of their apartment, Rodriguez said.
"The gun was pulled out," he said. The men were examining it when, "somehow it went off."
Alex Diaz was holding the weapon when it fired, the detective added. The handgun was found at the scene.
The question comes up, of course, should blindness be considered a disqualifying factor for gun ownership?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.