WILLOWBROOK (CBSLA.com) — Two men reportedly were shot early Sunday in what police suspect started as an accidental discharge.
It happened around 1 a.m. on East 138th Street near San Pedro Street, according to the LAPD.
Detectives were on scene trying to piece together what happened.
They told CBS2/KCAL9’s Joy Benedict that a group of about ten men in their 20s were partying outside the home late into the night.
Family members said Dominique Barnett, 24, was among the group and had brought a handgun to show his friends. They said a 23-year-old man who lived on the street was upset that Barnett would bring a gun to the party and tried to take it away from him. The gun accidentally discharged and killed the 23-year-old.
Barnett was so wracked with guilt at his best friend’s death that he felt he had no other choice but to turn the gun on himself, relatives told Benedict. They said Barnett committed suicide at the scene.
Barnett’s father, Antoine, talked about the shock of getting the news this morning.
“It’s not too easy,” he said.
His father wished his son had called him first.
“He didn’t see any out,” Antoine said, “I’m not sure there is much more I could have done, but I could have talked to him. I didn’t even get a chance to say bye to him.”
The 23-year-old friend has been identified as Gerard Taylor.
“Guns are not toys,” said a grieving friend, “They are not toys.”
“Preliminary investigation is indicating that the gunshot victims knew each other and that they were friends. There was no malicious intent that we know of, at this point, for the shooting to occur. Right now it’s being handled as an accidental shooting,” Det. Steven Lankford of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department said.