SANTA ANA ( — A 34-year-old man said he accidentally shot his girlfriend to death with a BB rifle Thursday morning at a Santa Ana home.

Police responded to reports of a shooting around 11 a.m. in the 1000 block of S. Austin Street, according to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna of the Santa Ana Police Department.

Martha Socorro Marin, 32, was discovered unconscious with a small puncture wound in her upper chest.

The victim was taken to UC Irvine Medical Center in Orange, where she was pronounced dead.

Marin’s unidentified live-in boyfriend told authorities he didn’t mean to shoot her.

Bertagna, however, said police are still investigating.

“At this point, we can’t think of any time where we’ve had a victim die of a BB gun. So was this done at close range? Was it accidental? Was it on purpose?” he said.

Authorities later revealed they had been called to the victim’s house before, but wouldn’t explain for what reason.

Neighbor Huey Lai said the couple argued publicly in the past.

“It did come out to the street. They were cussing out loud. So loud that everyone heard around this neighborhood,” he said.

Marin and her boyfriend have two children.

Ariel Rosel said he’s friends with the couple’s 12-year-old son.

“I felt kind of depressed after looking at him cry because I’ve never seen him cry,” he said.

The suspect is in custody until the DA’s office decides whether to file charges.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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