Two Latinos Murdered During Shoot Out at a California Toys 'R' Us

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Alejandro Moreno, 39, and Juan Meza, 28, shot and killed each other in a crowded Toys 'R' Us in Palm Desert, CA on Black Friday, giving new meaning to the nickname frequently used to refer to the busiest shopping day of the year.

The men were shopping with their wives when a fight broke out between the two women. Witnesses told MSNBC that one of the women hit the other and a short man, believed to be Meza, stepped up to assist the one that had been hit. When the altercation shifted from screaming to physical violence one of the men reportedly flashed a gun, causing wide spread panic. Someone then shouted that the man had a gun and that's when an older man, believed to be Moreno, came around an aisle and pulled out a second weapon. Scared shoppers fled the scene, but luckily no one else besides Moreno and Meza were hurt.

“We believe they knew each other,” said Riverside County sheriff's Investigator Matt Diaz, adding that speculation about the incident being gang related was unconfirmed.

This story seems to highlight the increasing role that personal hand guns have been playing in our day to day lives. Why anyone would believe it necessary to go shopping in a toy store with a loaded and concealed weapon is difficult to understand. Tell us: do you think that hand guns protect us, or make our communities more prone to violence?

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About this author

Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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