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Neighbors' noise dispute fuels Torrance murder-suicide

August 24, 2010 | 10:04 am

A noise dispute at a Torrance apartment complex turned deadly when a man upset over his downstairs neighbor playing loud music shot him to death then turned the gun on himself, police said.

Renzo Ramon Estrella, 46, shot his 39-year-old neighbor, Michael Ronald Meeker, to death Sunday afternoon in the courtyard of Carioca Garden Apartments after a heated, seven-months-long noise dispute, said Torrance Police Sgt. Jeremiah Hart.

Estrella was upset that Meeker would play his music too loud below him. Meeker was angry at the noise Estrella would make hitting punching bags above.

Police arrived at the sprawling, two-story complex in the 4000 block of West 242nd Street about 3:40 p.m. Sunday after getting several calls from neighbors reporting gunshots.

They found Meeker dead at the scene with multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.

After police evacuated the complex and searched for other victims, SWAT officers served an arrest warrant on Estrella's second-floor apartment about 1 a.m. Monday and found him dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

-- Tony Barboza