2 off-duty Calif. cops fire guns toward each other
Dejay Barber, 44, and Matthew Rincon, 24 did not realize the other was an officer until after the argument
By Robert Faturechi
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said "alcohol is suspected" to have been a factor when two off-duty deputies allegedly fired their guns during a dispute over loud music at a campground this past weekend.
The deputies — Dejay Barber, 44, and Matthew Rincon, 24 — were arrested on suspicion of negligent discharge of a firearm after Chino police officers were called to Prado Regional Park early Sunday morning.
Authorities suspect that the off-duty deputies learned they were colleagues only after their campground showdown.
Both deputies have been relieved of duty with pay.
Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said Monday that the men allegedly brandished their guns in a "threatening manner." They did not fire at each other, he said, but into the air.
"Alcohol is suspected," Whitmore said. "This is gross negligence."
It's unclear if there were other campers nearby when the off-duty deputies began shooting, officials said, but multiple rounds were fired.
"I don't know how many, but more than one," Whitmore said.
One of the deputies works in the county courts, Whitmore said, and the other is in the department's transit services division. The criminal investigation will be handled by Chino police, he said.
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