Spectators batter gunman to death

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Old 01-Sep-2008
Spectators batter gunman to death


Spectators batter gunman to death
September 1, 2008 - 4:03PM

Spectators at a Sikh sports tournament in California pummelled two gunmen in the crowd with cricket bats and field hockey sticks after the pair fatally shot a man and injured another.
The brazen shootings happened at about 1.20pm (0620 AEST) today as the victims were watching athletic events at the Sacramento Sikh Society Sports Complex, next to the society's temple, or Gurdwara Sahib, according to sheriff's deputies.
The assault did not appear to be related to any conflict over the sporting events, authorities said, and neither the assailants nor the victims were participants in the tournament.
The gunmen apparently planned to find their targets at the event, sheriff's spokesman Sergeant Tim Curran said.
"We believe the victims were targeted, and the suspects knew the victims were here," Curran said.
Deputies identified the dead man as Parmjit Pamma Singh, a 26-year-old father of two from Bay Point, near Pittsburg, California. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The other victim, 38, was sent to the University of California Davis Medical Centre in serious condition.
The assault prompted several nearby spectators to turn on the gunmen with sports equipment at hand. One of the assailants got away while the other was beaten and held by spectators until deputies arrived, Curran said.
"The crowd was armed with cricket bats and field hockey sticks. They didn't hold back in telling us that they hit him," Curran said. That suspect was taken to the medical centre "with multiple contusions", he said.
Deputies would not release the identity of the hospitalised suspect until he is booked into jail.
Organisers aborted the tournament, and deputies cordoned the playing fields and held hundreds of spectators at the complex car park until they could talk to them. The vehicle-by-vehicle interviews lasted more than four hours.
Deputies recovered two handguns but found few witnesses to the shootings.
Most of the crowd at the time was attending youth field hockey games and a foot race at other fields in the complex.
"At first we thought it was the pistol to start the race, but then we heard more shots," said Herinder Singh of Hayward, California, whose son played in the hockey games.
Hundreds of people from the Sacramento area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Arizona and western Canada attended the event, the second annual Gurmukh Singh Johal Memorial Tournament, sponsored by the Sacramento Sikh Society.
MCT apm

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