A late-night fight at a suburban Los Angeles bowling alley turned deadly late Friday night, killing three men and injuring four.
Police in the coastal city of Torrance responded shortly after midnight to calls of “shots fired” at the Gable House Bowl, which is described on its website as a gaming venue that offers bowling, laser tag and an arcade. They found seven people with gunshot wounds.
Three men were pronounced dead at the scene and two others were taken to a hospital with injuries, said police spokesman Sgt. Ronald Harris. Two other men were struck by gunfire but “opted to seek their own medical attention,” Harris said.
Authorities have not released details about what led to the shooting, but witnesses said it stemmed from a fight between two large groups of people at the bowling alley.
Wes Hamad, a 29-year-old Torrance resident, 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 of Gable House Bowl and devolved 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 was had multiple gunshot wounds in his head and neck.
Brandon Tyre, 31, told the Los Angeles Times that he was inside celebrating a friend’s birthday when he heard fighting, then the sound of gunshots. He turned to find his brother had been shot in the chest. The brother’s condition is unknown.
Witness Dana Scott, whose bowling league was meeting Friday night, told CNN: “A lot of people ran back into the bar area — behind the seats and onto the floor, under the benches. People were crying. It was not comfortable.”
Investigators were at the scene Saturday trying to “identify the suspects and whoever else was involved,” Harris said.
Damone Thomas was in the karaoke section of the bowling alley, a regular stop for him and his friends after work on Fridays, when people ran in saying there was a shooting. The 30-year-old Los Angeles resident said his friend flipped over one of the tables to shield them as they heard gunshots.
Thomas said he didn’t feel scared because he was “just trying to survive.” But when he was driving back home, he said he realized how traumatic the situation was and said he hasn’t been able to fall asleep. “Closing my eyes, all I can see is the women against the wall crying, not knowing what to do,” he said.
Both Thomas and Hamad said they had never witnessed any violence there in the past, but Hamad said he had stopped going for a while because he heard someone with a gun was recently seen there.
“I definitely won’t be going back anymore,” he added.