Bowl­ing al­ley shoot­ing kills 3, wounds 4

The Island Packet (Sunday) - - News - BY SCOTT FAIN AND SOPHIA ROSENBAUM

TORRANCE, CALIF.

Three men were fa­tally shot late Fri­day and four in­jured when a brawl at a pop­u­lar Los An­ge­les-area bowl­ing al­ley and karaoke bar erupted into gun­fire that had pa­trons, in­clud­ing chil­dren, run­ning for their lives.

Po­lice in the coastal city of Torrance re­sponded shortly af­ter­mid­night to calls of shots fired at the Gable House Bowl, which of­fers bowl­ing, laser tag and an ar­cade. They found seven peo­ple with gun­shot wounds.

Three men­were pro­nounced dead at the scene and two were taken to a hos­pi­tal, Sgt. Ron­aldHar­ris said. Two other men were struck by gun­fire but “opted to seek their own med­i­cal at­ten­tion.”

Au­thor­i­ties have not iden­ti­fied the vic­tims or sus­pects or re­leased de­tails about what led to the shoot­ing. But wit­nesses said it stemmed from a fight be­tween two large groups.

Dwayne Ed­wards, 60, of Los An­ge­les, said he re­ceived a call from his nephew that his 28-year-old son Astin Ed­wards was one of those killed. His nephew told him his son was try­ing to break up a fight when a gun­man “just started un­load­ing.”

“I’m think­ing this is a dream and I’ll wake up,” Ed­wards told the Or­ange County Regis­ter. “He was a good kid. I don’t un­der­stand it.”

Agriev­ing­mother told KABC-7 her 28-year-old son, RobertMeekins, was among the vic­tims killed. She said her son was a friend of Astin Ed­wards, and she be­lieved he also tried to help break up the fight.

“They were friends so I know he prob­a­bly jumped in and helped Astin and who­ever he was with … but I don’t think my son de- serves to die,” An­ge­line Hub­bard said.

Wes Ha­mad, a 29-yearold Torrance res­i­dent, was at the bowl­ing al­ley with his 13-year-old niece and cousin when he saw a “huge fight” break out. Ha­mad said the brawl, which lasted about five min­utes, blocked the en­trance and spi­raled into “com­plete chaos.”

“I grabbed my niece and started run­ning to­ward the far end of the bowl­ing al­ley,” he said. “As we were run­ning, we heard 15 shots.”

As he was leav­ing, Ha­mad said he saw a woman weep­ing over aman who was had gun­shot wounds to his head and neck.

Da­mone Thomas was in the karaoke sec­tion of the bowl­ing al­ley, a reg­u­lar stop for him and his friends af­ter work on Fri­days, when peo­ple ran in say­ing there was a shoot­ing. The 30year-old Los An­ge­les res­i­dent said his friend flipped a ta­ble to shield them as they heard gun­shots.

Thomas said he didn’t feel scared be­cause he was “just try­ing to sur­vive.” But when he was driv­ing home he said he re­al­ized how trau­matic the sit­u­a­tion was and said he wasn’t been able to fall asleep.

“Clos­ing my eyes, all I can see is the women against the wall cry­ing, not know­ing what to do,” he said.

Thomas and Ha­mad said they had never wit­nessed any vi­o­lence there in the past, but Ha­mad said he had stopped go­ing for a while be­cause he heard some­one with a gun was re­cently seen there.

“I def­i­nitely won’t be go­ing back any­more,” he added.

In a tweet, Cal­i­for­nia U.S. Sen. Ka­mala Har­ris said her heart breaks for the vic­tims.

“We must do more to ad­dress gun vi­o­lence,” she said. “Amer­i­cans should be able to go to a bowl­ing al­ley and be safe.”

SCOTT VAR­LEY Or­ange County Regis­ter

Torrance po­lice of­fi­cers in­ves­ti­gate a fa­tal shoot­ing at the Gable House Bowl in Torrance, Calif., on Satur­day. Po­lice re­sponded shortly af­ter mid­night to calls of shots fired at the bowl­ing al­ley.

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