02 • MARCH 29, 2019 • LOSANGELESBLADE.COM
2 shot at popular Palm Springs gay nightclub Police say incident not a hate crime By STAFF REPORTS Palm Springs Police are looking for an unidentified male suspect who opened fire in the parking lot of a popular gay nightclub in northern Palm Springs. PSPD uniformed officers responded to a report of shots fired at the Toucans Tiki Lounge in the 2300 Block of N. Palm Canyon at around 1:38 am Sunday morning, March 24, a PSPD spokesperson told the Los Angeles Blade Sunday evening. They found two male victims who had suffered non-life threatening gun shot wounds to their lower extremities. Both men were transported to the nearby Desert Regional Medical Center for treatment. A preliminary investigation revealed there was a fight inside the nightclub that eventually led outside. At that point, a shooting occurred near the parking lot, according to the PSPD. An unidentified suspect fled the location.
Toucans Tiki Lounge patrons assist one of two men wounded in a shooting incident March 24. Photo via Twitter
He is described as a Hispanic Male Adult, approximately 20-30 years old wearing a black hat, black hooded sweatshirt, black sweatpants and had tattoos on his neck. There were several witnesses present who also fled the location prior to the arrival of officers. A person answering the phone Sunday afternoon said the club was open but management would not be commenting nor
issuing a statement at this time. A PSPD spokesperson subsequently told the Los Angeles Blade on Monday that detectives were not investigating the double shooting as a hate crime. Palm Springs Police Lt. William Hutchinson said that investigators still have not determined a motive for the incident. Detectives are in the process of reviewing the club’s surveillance video. There are also posts on social media
that include pictures and video from inside the club, as reported by Burbank, Californiabased Instinct magazine. Hutchinson said they are also continuing to interview witnesses, as well as continuing the search for the alleged assailant. He added that the club’s owner and management team are cooperating fully with investigators. The shooting at Toucans Tiki Lounge comes less than a week after Zelda’s nightclub was closed by the Palm Springs City Council after a fatal shooting in January in which a 21-year old man and a 14-year old were shot, as well. The club is closed for 45 days while a security plan can be devised. The shooting at Zelda’s was “the latest in a string of incidents at the club over several years,” according to the Desert Sun. Police are asking for the public’s help. Anyone who witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Palm Springs Police Department at 760-778-8411. The PSPD spokesperson also noted that Anonymous information can also be provided through Crime Stoppers at 760-341-7867.
2nd death in Ed Buck’s WeHo apartment also ruled meth overdose Timothy Dean would have turned 56 on March 24 By KAREN OCAMB email@example.com Timothy Dean’s Jan. 7 death in the West Hollywood apartment of political activist Ed Buck has been ruled an accidental methamphetamine overdose, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “Sheriff’s homicide investigators are continuing their investigation into the death of Timothy Dean,” Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Nicole Nishida said in a March 25 statement. Buck’s attorney Seymour Amster told the LA Times: “We stand by our position that unfortunately Mr. Dean ingested drugs at a location other than Mr. Buck’s, and he came over intoxicated, and it’s a tragedy.” Dean, 55, a West Hollywood resident, was the second Black male to die of an accidental meth
Timothy Dean Photo screen grab from KTLA
overdose in Buck’s apartment. The coroner reported that in July 2017, Gemmel Moore, 26, also died there of an accidental meth OD. Buck, 64, was present for both deaths. The press has inaccurately written that the coroner’s report released after Moore’s
death noted that the apartment was “littered with drug paraphernalia,” implying it was in plain sight. In fact, the report, which the Los Angeles Blade obtained, says: “Medical evidence: multiple prescription medications were located in a small zippered bag inside the decedent’s backpack that was positioned on the couch in the living room. Multiple syringes with brown residue, scale, lighters, straw with possible white residue, glass pipes with white residue and burn marks, plastic bags with white powdery and a clear plastic bag with crystal-like substance was located in drawers of the tool box rollcabinet in the living room.” The LA district attorney’s office declined to prosecute on four charges against Buck— murder, voluntary manslaughter, and furnishing and possessing drugs. The July 26 Charge Evaluation Worksheet noted that the “admissible evidence is insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that suspect Buck furnished drugs to Gemmel Moore
or that suspect Buck possessed drugs,” according to Deputy DA Craig W. Hum. The evidence may have been inadmissible because, as was also noted, deputies conducted an inadmissible search and seizure—most likely of the tool box roll-cabinet in which the drug paraphernalia was found. LA DA Jackie Lacey issued a public letter on March 12, in which she said she empathized with Moore and Dean’s family and friends; said Buck and his home remain under investigation; and called for the public’s help. But, she added, “When any allegation is considered for possible criminal prosecution, the issue is whether there is clear evidence that a crime has occurred and whether that is sufficient to convince a jury of 12 people of a defendant’s guilt. Prosecutors cannot ethically file charges without such facts in hand.” Dean’s family and friends gathered in West Hollywood on March 24 to commemorate his 56th birthday. – Staff reports contributed to this story
Losangelesblade.com, Volume 3, Issue 13, March 29, 2019