Kurtis Wayne McMorries, 46
Kurtis Wayne McMorries, a 46-year-old white man, died of multiple gunshot wounds Friday, Nov. 4, in the 22200 block of Catskill Avenue in Carson, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
McMorries was sleeping in the garage of a home about 10 a.m. when he heard someone attempting to open the garage door, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Jauch said.
McMorries got up to open the door and was confronted by a man with a gun, who began firing.
McMorries’ girlfriend, who was also in the garage, told authorities that the gunman ran out of bullets, Jauch said, then fled on a motorcycle.
McMorries was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
McMorries’ uncle, Steve McMorries, was in the house when he heard the gunshots. He ran outside and saw a man pointing a gun at his nephew.
“After about four shots my nephew went down,” Steve McMorries said. “He was still shooting him after Kurtis was on the ground.”
Steve McMorries ran back into the house and locked the door.
The shooting, which took place in a residential neighborhood, shook neighbors. Hermes Arriola, 59, who lives on the block, said he moved to the area last year and initially thought the gunshots were fireworks.
“I said ‘Happy New Year!’” Arriola said. He didn’t know someone had been shot until he saw police cars speeding down his street, he said.
McMorries’ family said the victim knew the gunman -- in fact, they had been friends for 25 years.
Jauch said that a suspect was arrested later that day after firing a weapon inside the warehouse where he was living on Vermont Avenue.
The suspect was Aramis Wong, a 46-year-old Latino, according to police and court records. Two firearms were found in the warehouse, Jauch said.
“You wouldn’t think that would happen, two best friends and it would come down to that,” Steve McMorries said. “They used to [call] me Uncle Steve and talk to me about their problems. We don’t know why this happened.”
Wong was charged Nov. 8 with one count of murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a firearm, one count of negligent discharge of a firearm, one count of shooting at an unoccupied building, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.
Wong was also charged with one felony count of possession for sale of methamphetamine, according to Ricardo Santiago, a spokesman for the district attorney's office.
The first two charges relate to the Carson shooting, Santiago said. The two counts of assault with a firearm relate to a second incident later that day, Santiago said. Police arrested Wong after the second incident.
Wong pleaded not guilty, according to the district attorney's office.
McMorries, a father and a tattoo artist, was an outgoing person who mentored and helped his friends, family said.
McMorries’ uncle has been living in the house where the shooting took place for 40 years.
“It hurts,” he said. “The closer I get to the house after being out the more tears just come from my eyes.”