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Long Beach Shaken by 3 Slayings : Violence: A 30-year-old man is arrested in the deaths of his mother, a security guard and a high school student. Police say he was 'ranting about cyborgs and terminators.'

April 16, 1993|ROXANA KOPETMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Patricia Louise Mount tried to barricade herself in the bathroom of her mobile home in Long Beach, but her assailant--believed to be her son--shot her through the door. She would be the first of three to die Wednesday night.

Down the street, at the entrance to the Belmont Shores Mobile Home Estates, security guard Paul Weissman, 68, was standing unarmed by his post when he was gunned down by the same man. His unsuspecting wife arrived soon after to deliver his nightly meal.

At the Bixby Village Golf Course across the street, Abraham Torres, 17, was picking up flags and cleaning the grounds when he was hit by at least 10 rounds from an assault rifle. The Wilson High School junior was driving a golf cart and wearing earphones, probably listening to the ranchera music he loved so much.

Police arrested Randall Douglas Mount, 30, on suspicion of murdering his mother, the security guard and the high school student, but were at a loss to explain the motive.

On Thursday, authorities transferred Mount to the County-USC Medical Center for fear he would commit suicide. When police arrested him shortly after 8 p.m. on Wednesday, "he was ranting about cyborgs and terminators chasing him," said police spokeswoman Karen Kerr.

The deadly rampage that stunned Long Beach residents began about 8 p.m. Wednesday, when neighbors of the mobile home park in the southeastern part of the city heard gunfire and called police.

When police arrived they were unaware that two people had been shot, according to Detective Craig Remine. They spotted a man carrying an assault rifle running toward a street entrance to the golf course. The man dropped to the ground and when they shone a light on him he got up, ran down an embankment and jumped over a fence, Kerr said.

At the same time, Torres was driving out of a tunnel that runs under a street and onto a golf cart path only feet away from the fence. The teen-ager had been following the same nightly routine for three years, ever since his father, a greenskeeper foreman at the golf course, got him the job.

The suspect shot Torres as police gave chase. He then turned back toward the officers, put down his assault rifle and turned himself in, according to police.

Torres' boss, golf course manager Robert Jones, said he doubts that Torres--"a nice kid, a hard working kid"--realized what was happening. "He had his earphones on. He always had his earphones on," Jones said.

Patricia Mount, 53, a substitute teacher for the Long Beach Unified School District, was found in her bathroom. "She apparently had tried to shut the door to get away from him," Kerr said. Weissman, who had been shot several times, was found by his booth at the entrance to the mobile home park where he lived and worked.

Surrounded by family and friends Thursday, Benito Torres said his wife, Benita, and their remaining four children were stunned by Abraham's death.

Said Virginia Villalobos, an aunt, "His mother described him as very lovable. His parents always came first, even when it came to his earnings. If his parents needed anything, he helped. He always worried about his little brothers. And he used to say his music was his life."

Relatives and friends said he took pride in his work and enjoyed playing golf. "He said he wanted to be a champion," said Benito Torres.

Torres said he brought his tight-knit family from Jalisco, Mexico, to Long Beach about 12 years ago. "My son is gone. What can I say. Stop the violence. Keep criminals in jail."

Friends of Patricia Mount, who called her Patty, said they knew little about her son, other than that he was unemployed and lived with her. While they described Patty Mount as an outgoing woman who liked to play bridge with her neighbors and ride her bicycle to the schools where she worked, they said Randall Mount was a loner who rarely ventured outside.

"We didn't know her son at all because he was a recluse," said Ed West, a neighbor and friend of Patty Mount. "Whenever we visited her, he left the room. He never took part in anything in the park."

West said that Randall Mount had suffered a back injury years ago and was unemployed. His mother "wouldn't talk about him too much, and that in itself told me a great deal," West said.

"We loved Patty," said West, a retired Long Beach teacher. "Patty was fairly well known and well liked here and everyone is shocked."

Weissman was described as a longtime resident at the trailer park.

"This guard has been at this gate since I've been here," said Wilma Stuart, 62, a resident of Belmont Shores Mobile Home Estates for 12 years. "We saw his wife coming down (Wednesday) night to bring him food. She brings him dinner every night. And she didn't know what was going on," Stuart said.

The shootings broke the tranquillity of the quiet mobile home park. "I always felt so safe here. It feels different today," Stuart said. "It makes you realize you're not safe anywhere."

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