Ten people were in the house at 21920 Devlin Ave. when the gunman, apparently motivated by a romantic dispute, barged in with a rifle and started shooting about 3:40 a.m., said Sgt. James Jobling of the sheriff's Lakewood Station.Even in the subsequent articles I wasn't able to understand a few things about this story. What were 10 family members doing at 3:40 in the morning? Were they sleeping there, was it a party that had run late? I admit it has little to do with anything, aside from my curiosity.
Deputies on patrol heard the gunfire, confronted the suspect, 26-year-old Joseph Mercado, then shot and wounded him, said Deputy Aura Sierra of the Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau.
"As we arrived, we heard the shots on the street, so our deputy did a fantastic job, knew it was an automatic weapon -- it was an AK-47 -- pulled his AR-15, encountered the suspect on the street, fired two shots,'' Undersheriff Larry Waldie told KTLA-TV Channel 5.
The deputies ordered Mercado to drop the weapon, but he refused and turned toward the deputies. Sierra said that is when the deputy-involved shooting occurred.
"And then we went into the house to clear the house,'' Waldie said. "As we were clearing the house, about six more people jumped from the roof trying to get out of the house for fear ... ''
Serena Tarin, 25, and her brother, Alfredo Tarin Jr., 20, died at the scene, Sierra said. Their parents, Luciana and Alfredo Tarin Sr., were taken to hospitals in critical condition. Alfredo Tarin Sr. later died as a result of his injuries.
Another thing I wondered is how could the shooter have suffered only minor wounds? He refused to drop the weapon and turned towards the police with an AK-47 in hand, yet they only wounded him? I thought they're supposed to shoot for the center of mass and all that, and who could fault them in a case like this? I don't get it.
And finally, nowhere have I read about the gun or the shooter's right to have it. I don't suppose it could have been a legally owned weapon in California, but where did it come from and how did he get it? That's what I'd like to know. I'd like it traced back to the last legal owner, the one who made the innocent mistake of selling it to a straw purchaser or the one who didn't secure it properly and it somehow got stolen. This is where legal and lawful gun owners have to start taking more responsibility.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.