An arrest has been made in connection with the deadly shooting at a California bowling alley that left three people dead and four others wounded. Police say Reginald Wallace, 47, of Los Angeles was identified as the suspect within 30 hours of the shooting and was arrested and is being held without bail. Wallace is on parole after serving a 17-year sentence for assault with a deadly weapon which involved a firearm and was released in 2017. Felons are barred under state law from possessing firearms.
The shooting occurred just before midnight on Friday, January 4th at the Gable House Bowl in Torrance, about 20 miles south of Los Angeles. Police say two women began fighting, then more people joined in and finally 10 to 15 people, both men and women were brawling. It was then, police say, that Wallace shot into the crowd with a handgun and is believed to be the sole shooter in the incident. It is unclear whether Wallace knew anyone in the bowling alley, but he was part of the larger group that was already inside the bowling alley.
The three deceased victims who died at the scene were identified as Michael Radford; 20, Robert Meekins; 28 and his friend Astin Edwards, also 28. Meekins leaves behind a 5-year-old son. Police said two injured males were taken to a hospital and two other males sought medical attention on their own. Torrance Police Chief Eve Irvine said in a statement that there was complete chaos before Wallace started shooting. “It was complete chaos, people were running all over, there were fights still occurring and when he pulled out the handgun, the minute people started hearing shots, even more chaos erupted.”
Wes Hamad, a 29-year-old Torrance resident, said he 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 a man who had gunshot wounds to his head and neck.
Damone Thomas was in the karaoke section of the bowling alley when people ran in screaming that there was a shooter. Thomas 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.” It wasn’t until later, Thomas said that he realized how traumatic the situation was. “Closing my eyes, all I can see is the women against the wall crying, not knowing what to do,” he said.