Photo via [Public Domain] Wikimedia Commons
Photo via [Public Domain] Wikimedia Commons

A woman whose husband was struck and killed by stray gunfire outside their home in Pasadena on Christmas Day 2012 testified Monday that she heard what she initially thought was fireworks and then saw her husband on the ground.

Shelly McClinton told the Los Angeles Superior Court jury hearing the case against Larry Darnell Bishop Jr. and Jerron Donald Harris that her husband, Victor, had gone outside to walk a friend out to his car when she heard “what I thought were fireworks.”

“Then I realized that’s not fireworks,” she said, noting that she discovered her husband laying on the ground.

“He was shaking. There was blood coming from his nose,” she said, adding that there was a “puddle of blood.”

She said she dialed 911 and told an emergency dispatcher, “My husband’s been shot, my husband’s been shot.”

She said she and others gathered around her husband while waiting for paramedics to arrive.

“We just keep telling him to breathe … Hold on … Don’t leave.” she said, telling jurors that an ambulance took her husband to Huntington Memorial Hospital.

“After you saw him lying on the ground, did you see him again?” Deputy District Attorney Amy Ashvanian asked.

“No,” the woman responded

She fought back tears after being asked to identify a photo of her husband.

In her opening statement, the prosecutor called Victor McClinton “an innocent man” was struck by gunfire while outside his home saying goodbye to a friend who had delivered a Christmas gift.

McClinton was shot in the head in what Ashvanian called “a gang-related murder,” and two houses were struck by the gunfire.

“An innocent bystander and, by all accounts, a very good man was killed … There’s no denying the senselessness and the randomness of this killing,” Bishop’s attorney, Elena Saris, told jurors.

However, the defense lawyer said there was “absolutely no evidence that Mr. Bishop was in the car at the time of the shooting” when a gang member was targeted by a rival.

Harris’ attorney, Richard Lasting, also disputed the prosecution’s contention that his client was involved in the crime.

Bishop, 22, and Harris, 27, are charged in the shooting death of McClinton, a 49-year-old civilian Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department employee, neighborhood athletics coach and father of two who was walking a fellow coach to his car when gunfire erupted at Newport Avenue and Wyoming Street, authorities said.

The two reputed gang members are also charged with attempted murder involving the intended victim, who was wounded and wound up crashing the red Ford Focus he was driving, along with shooting at an inhabited dwelling and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Prosecution witness Joseph Biolsi said he went with his grandchildren to exchange Christmas presents at McClinton’s house, and said McClinton had walked him out to his car.

“He was a true gentleman,” Biolsi told jurors, saying that McClinton had just discussed “how happy he was.”

Biolsi said he ducked behind his car after realizing that four or five loud sounds he heard were gunshots.

“I looked behind me … He (Victor) had a bullet hole in his forehead,” Biolsi said in emotional testimony.

Biolsi said he put his hand over the wound to try to stop the bleeding until McClinton’s family emerged from the house.

Testimony is expected to continue in the trial Tuesday.

City News Service

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