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Son of 'Barney' creator arrested for shooting neighbor in Malibu

January 17, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
In a Malibu enclave known for scenes of splendor, a dispute between neighbors got downright ugly.

One witness, who did not want to be identified, said he helped save the life of a seriously wounded 49-year-old man. The unidentified witness found the man bleeding on a driveway in the 27000 block of West Winding Way on Jan. 9.

He also got the license plate number of a fleeing vehicle which led to the arrest of 27-year-old Patrick Kearns Leach.

According to Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore, the suspect is the victim's neighbor and the son of "Barney and Friends" co-creator, Sheryl Leach. The long-running PBS show about a purple dinosaur is beloved by children across the world.

Sheriff's investigators have not released any information on what triggered the shooting.

The unidentified Good Samaritan said he didn't ask questions, just ran to give aid when he heard the victim cry out.

"I saw a black truck leaving where I heard the shots from so I took down the license plate number and then I heard the victim yell 'Hey, I'm shot'," he said. "He was breathing, shallow breathing. I told him he was going to be OK. I put pressure on the wounds to stop the bleeding. I had no rags or anything else to do it with. I just put my hands on him to stop the bleeding."

Officials said the victim was truly lucky to be alive.

"The victim was shot by a .45 handgun and was shot in the chest and the bullet went through his chest and out his shoulder," Whitmore said.

Leach is facing an attempted murder charged. He was released after posting $500,000 bond Thursday.

Neighbors of the suspect are on alert, reportedly worried that he will come back.

"When you shoot your neighbor in the chest with a gun or weapon, you should be in jail still," the unidentified witness said.

Whitmore assures residents they've put safety measures in place to prevent this kind of tragedy from happening again.

"We've got that whole area, we are doing our best to keep it in our sights as well as the individual," Whitmore said.

The unidentified victim is reportedly in critical condition, but expected to recover.


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