More than $32,700 raised to bring Singaporean man killed in California gun range accident back home

Lydia Lam
The Straits Times
Tue, Jan 1, 2017

More than US$23,000 (S$32,700) has been raised on a gofundme fund-raising page set up to bring a man who died in the United States back to Singapore. This exceeds the page target of US$10,000.

Mr Lionel Tan is believed to have died in an accident on a gun range in Norco, California, on Saturday (Jan 14).

According to the gofundme page, Mr Tan moved to the US from Singapore several years ago and attended Purdue University, where he studied aerospace engineering.

He graduated in 2006, according to his Facebook page.

Mr Tan was reportedly a project engineer on the Gold Line Connector in Downtown Los Angeles, a light rail subway corridor.

Mr CK Hwang, a friend of Mr Tan's, called for "all my fellow Singaporean friends" to "please help if you can" in a Facebook post on Sunday.

In replies to questions on his post, Mr Hwang said Mr Tan was "killed by a stray round from a non-competitor". From comments on the Facebook post, it is understood that Mr Tan took part in shooting competitions.

Mr Hwang said in a comment that someone "shot a high-powered round over the berm which then ricocheted and killed Lionel".

On the gofundme page, Mr Tan is remembered as "a good man and friend", "always the first to offer a helping hand or a kind word".

The page, which was created on Sunday by a Mr Gabriel Estrada, also said: "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."

A report in California paper The Press Enterprise said that Raahauge Shooting Enterprises, the shooting range where Mr Tan was killed, was closed for a day after the incident. The report also said that Riverside County Sheriff's Department had investigated and deemed the shooting accidental. It was the first fatal incident at the facility in more than 30 years.

Mr Tan's family is said to be travelling to the US to take Mr Tan home.

A memorial for him will be held in Long Beach, with the family mass and service held in Singapore, according to the gofundme page.

The Straits Times has contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for more information.