A parolee who allegedly shot and killed three men at a bowling alley in Torrance was charged with murder and other counts in a case in which he could face the death penalty, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday.
Reginald Leander Wallace, 47, of Los Angeles, is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in a Torrance courtroom on three counts of murder for allegedly shooting Michael Radford, 20; and Robert Meekins and Astin Edwards, both 28, just before midnight Jan. 4 at Gable House Bowl at 22501 Hawthorne Blvd., along with four counts of attempted murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.
The criminal complaint alleges that Wallace was convicted of first-degree murder in 1989 when he was a juvenile and that he was convicted as an adult of bringing or possessing a gun within a school zone in 1997 and assault with a firearm in 1998, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
The murder charges include the special circumstance allegations of multiple murders and murder to further the activities of a criminal street gang, along with allegations of using a handgun which caused great bodily injury and death.
Prosecutors will decide later whether to seek the death penalty against Wallace, who was arrested by Torrance police two days after the shooting and has remained jailed since then on a parole hold.
Officers responded to a shots-fired call just before midnight Jan. 4 at the bowling alley, where the three men were pronounced dead. Two other people were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries and two other men sought medical attention on their own.
A fight involving several people grew into a brawl involving as many as 15, Torrance Police Chief Eve Irvine said last month at a news conference, in which she described a scene of “complete chaos” leading up to and following the shooting.
At some point, Wallace allegedly pulled a handgun from his pocket and fired into a crowd, according to the police chief, who said Wallace was believed to have been the only shooter.
Relatives of all three victims told reporters they believed the men were killed while trying to break up the fight.
No employees of the bowling alley, a community fixture for about five decades, were injured, police said.
“This is a tragic event of major proportions. We’ve never had an incident like this in the city of Torrance,” the police chief said. “It’s tragic. Three people lost their lives. Four other people were shot. This is life-changing for so many people.”
The bowling alley was equipped with surveillance cameras and had security personnel on hand the night of the shooting, Irvine said.
Video and other investigative tools led investigators to identify Wallace as the suspected shooter, the police chief said. Wallace had been on parole since 2017 after spending 17 years incarcerated for assault with a deadly weapon involving a firearm, according to Irvine.
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