'Oh, shoot, that's a real gun': Residents recount Pomona apartment complex shooting

Henry Washington was playing football outside his Pomona apartment complex when he heard two loud booms Wednesday evening. 

The 15-year-old then saw kids bolting from a nearby apartment unit, followed by the property manager’s boyfriend, who was stumbling and bleeding from his back. A neighbor then stepped outside, a cigarette in one hand, a gun in the other.

"It was crazy," Washington said. "First I see the gun, then he started to raise it and that's when we ran." 

Just hours after Pomona police officers fatally shot a gunman in their apartment complex, residents said they were at a loss Thursday to explain the violence, and could only guess what had driven a quiet and withdrawn neighbor to fire on their property manager and her boyfriend. 

“He just kept to himself, really quiet, wouldn’t say anything to anybody,” Claressa Dupree said of the shooter, who has not been publicly identified by police. “I couldn’t tell you how his voice really sounded.”

The incident, which is now under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, occurred about 7 p.m. in the 900 block of North San Antonio Avenue, when a gunman entered an apartment and shot a man in the chest, and the man’s girlfriend in the chest and stomach, according to authorities. The victims were both taken to a hospital and listed in fair condition Thursday. The gunman was shot and killed by Pomona police.

A group of children who were in the property manager’s apartment witnessed a harrowing scene there, a next-door neighbor said.

The neighbor, Monica Diaz, said her 11-year-old son and her two grandchildren were sitting at a table eating when there was a knock at the door.

It was the gunman, who walked in and began arguing with the building manager’s boyfriend in a bedroom, Diaz said. The children, Diaz said, heard hollering coming from the room, then a gunshot. 

The gunman then came into the kitchen and shot the property manager twice in the leg — near her ankle and near her knee — while she held her 3-year-old foster son, Diaz said. 

Diaz’s 11-year-old son ran next door, screaming. 

”Mommy, there’s a man in the house shooting at everyone!” Diaz, 45, recalled him saying. 

Diaz and her boyfriend ran over and found the property manager on the floor, screaming and bleeding. Diaz found three of the woman’s five foster children hiding throughout the apartment.

As she ushered the children into her own home, she saw the gunman outside, firing rounds as he faced her. Two bullets struck a house across the street, she said.  

Washington, who had been playing football outside, told a reporter from The Times that once he the man holding a gun, he ran to tell Dupree, his mother.

Dupree, 43, said she peeked through the blinds and saw the gunman come around the corner, raise his gun and fire two shots toward a second-floor unit, shattering a window.

matt.hamilton@latimes.com | Twitter: @MattHjourno

Times staff writer Hailey Branson-Potts contributed to this report. 


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2:05 p.m.: This article was updated with an interview from Diaz. 

This article was originally published at 1:25 p.m.

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