Singaporean killed in US gun range accident
Friend raises money through crowdfunding to fly body home
A Singaporean man died after an apparent accidental shooting at a California shooting range.
Mr Lionel Tan, 36, an engineer who lived in the United States, was at the Raahauge Shooting Enterprises shooting range at 11.35am on Saturday (Sunday morning, Singapore time) when the accident happened, said the Riverside County Sheriff Department's coroner report.
Mr Tan was taken to the Corona Regional Medical Center, where he died about half an hour later.
The Sheriff's Department said the shooting was accidental, reported local media outlet The Press Enterprise.
The Sheriff's Department did not reply to The New Paper's queries by press time.
Mr Tan's friend, Mr Gabriel Estrada, set up a crowdfunding drive on Sunday to raise money for Mr Tan's memorial and to send his body back to Singapore.
At 8pm yesterday,the drive raised over US$23,000 (S$31,300), more than double its US$10,000 target.
Mr Estrada said on the crowdfunding page: "We all lost a good friend and a great person. Lionel Tan left us doing what he loved to do on the range."
He added that Mr Tan had migrated to the US several years ago and read aerospace engineering at Purdue University - after graduating from Tampines Junior College.
Mr Tan's LinkedIn profile said he had been working as an estimating engineer for Traylor Bros' underground division since March 2010.
Mr Estrada said Mr Tan's family has flown over for the memorial service and also to take his body back.
"If you ever had the chance to meet Lionel, you would know what a good man and friend he was.
"He was always the first to offer a helping hand or a kind word. He expressed positivity and compassion in everything he did, with a dedication to healthy living and a strong work ethic.
"This world was a better place with Lionel in it; Our friend will truly be missed," he said.
Mr Estrada did not reply to TNP's queries.
The Raahauge range, described by its owners as the largest shooting facility in California, offers shooting instruction, pheasant and duck hunting, dog training, and a sporting clay range on a 485ha site, according to its website.
Range manager Cindy Raahauge Shenberger told Press Enterprise that the management was unaware of what happened and declined further comment on the incident, citing ongoing investigations.
The Singapore Shooting Association president Michael Vaz said such an incident was unlikely to happen here.
Mr Vaz, who is also the president of the Singapore Gun Club, said the range at the National Shooting Centre has many safety measures.
For example, there has to be a supervisor for every two shooters, on top of the range supervisor.
Beginners have to undergo training and weapon familiarisation before they are allowed to shoot, he said.
"Even if you are already trained, we make sure you go through our regimen before we allow you to shoot," he said.