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Noise dispute led to Torrance murder-suicide

August 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Residents of a Torrance apartment complex say a noise dispute between neighbors may have led to a murder-suicide Sunday.It all started around 3:40 p.m. on Sunday at Carioca Garden Apartments, an upscale, gated complex on 242nd Street in Torrance, when police received reports of a shooting.

Police launched a massive search of the apartment complex after a man was found dead in his apartment, shot several times.

Authorities believe that the gunman was a neighbor, who was hiding somewhere in the complex. The SWAT team combed the area, and early Monday morning, they found the suspect dead in his apartment. Police believe he took his own life.

The suspect is described as a Hispanic male in his 40s.

"He was kind of a loner, kind of a quiet guy," said Christine Lee, a neighbor. "He kept to himself, but there had been some problems in the past."

Neighbors say past problems include ongoing disputes about loud music and noise.

According to police, the suspect was well armed when he allegedly shot his neighbor. He took about 16 to 18 shots.

"I have so much love for him. We're just really torn by this," said Abdul Deris, the victim's friend. "He's a good guy. He goes to work every day, and he comes home and barbeques and hangs out with his girlfriend and his kids. He has four kids."

Deris said problems with the suspected shooter began about a month ago.

"We kept hearing about this guy upstairs. He came down one day and he pushed the door open because their music was loud," described Deris.

After that incident, the two men were called into the manager's office and the problem was supposedly resolved.

"They had a disagreement about noise like a month ago, but the manager thought they sorted it all out and everything seemed fine. Then all of a sudden, something snapped yesterday," said David Black, the assistant manager of the apartment complex.

Derris and some neighbors believe more attention should have been paid to this tenant because of his odd behavior.

"We've heard stories about how he was brandishing guns and stuff like that. He'd be outside cocking his gun," said Deris.

Apartment management denies this ever happened. They say the suspect had lived in the apartments since 2001 and previously had only minor complaints.

The identities of the suspect and victim will not be released pending next of kin notification.


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