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New Year's Celebrator Kills Himself, Apparently Believing Gun Was Empty

January 03, 1988

A man celebrating New Year's in a Garden Grove apartment killed himself with a shot in the temple, apparently believing that shots he had fired into the ceiling had emptied the chamber of the gun, authorities said.

A spokeswoman for the Orange County coroner's office said the man, believed to be about 22 years old, went by the names of Graciano Torres and Enrique Garcia. She said he died at 5:30 a.m. Friday from a single bullet wound to the right temple from a .25-caliber automatic handgun.

Lt. Scott Hamilton of the Garden Grove police said the man was shooting into the ceiling of a top-floor apartment on Morningside Avenue and apparently believed the gun was empty when he aimed it at himself and pulled the trigger. He said the death has been classified as an accidental shooting.

The coroner's spokeswoman said the man was with friends when the shooting occurred.

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