Man from Singapore killed in gun range accident in California

Mr Tan was found with a gunshot wound at the Raahauge Shooting Enterprises, and he was subsequently evacuated to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
PHOTO: GoFundMe

SINGAPORE - A man from Singapore was killed in a shooting accident at a gun range in California on Saturday (Jan 14).

Media reports from the United States identified the man as Mr Lionel Tan, 36.

Earlier reports stated that Mr Tan was found with a gunshot wound at the Raahauge Shooting Enterprises, and he was subsequently evacuated to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

The Sheriff's Department deemed the shooting accidental and said that investigations are ongoing.

The range manager, Cindy Raahauge Shenberger, told Californian daily The Press-Enterprise that it is unclear what happened. She added that this is the first such incident at the gun range in three decades.

Mr Tan's friend, Mr Gabriel Estrada, described the shooting as a 'freak accident' on Facebook.

"Our sudden loss yesterday of our friend is truly starting to sink in. Freak accidents happen, proving how short life can be," Mr Estrada wrote.

According to a crowdfunding website set up by Mr Estrada to raise funds for Mr Tan's funeral and repatriation, Mr Tan graduated from Purdue University in Indiana.

Mr Tan's Facebook page stated that he studied at Tampines Junior College before his move to the US.

After completing his studies in aerospace engineering, Mr Tan worked as a project engineer on the Gold Line Connector in Downtown Los Angeles.

"Lionel is survived by his family in Singapore and they are beginning to make the journey here to pick up their son, brother and take him home," Mr Estrada wrote on the GoFundMe page.

"The Family will be arriving Tuesday and we will begin finalising all of the arrangements. There will be a memorial here in Long Beach with the family mass and service held back in Singapore."

Friends of Mr Tan paid tribute to him on Facebook.

"RIP buddy. The nicest gentlemen I could ever met in my army days.. I still can't process the reality that you are really gone from us. Though we haven't spoken much since we left our separate ways for University," wrote a Alvin Sia.

"Thanks for all the memories, the late nights at Eastern guardroom, hanging out after camp at LAN-shop playing counterstrikes, and our maiden trip to Sepang to watch out first F1 race together," Mr Sia added.

Thanking Mr Estrada on Facebook for arrangements, Mr Tan's family said that they are "forever indebted".

More than $20,000 has been pledged in 22 hours by 279 people on the GoFundMe page.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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