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I didn't mean to kill him

May 10, 2007 |  2:00 pm



1957_0510_quinnMay 10, 1957

Four years after his father was killed by a madman,  USC premed student Patrick Quinn died during what had been a playful gunfight with the younger brother of his girlfriend when they went to shoot tin cans in hills above Malibu.

Police said that Barbara Joyce, 18, had pleaded with Quinn, 19, and her brother William P. Joyce, 13, not to play with the guns, but they laughed at her and told her to get out of the way. The two youths stood behind trees 30 feet apart and shot at each other, but Quinn looked around the tree to see why the shooting had stopped and was struck in the head.

"I didn't mean to kill him," William Joyce said. "He was my friend."

On May 10, 1957, a coroner's jury ruled that the April 13, 1957, killing was excusable homicide. Quinn, of 424 Landfair, was interred at Holy Cross Cemetery. He was survived by his mother; brother Michael; and sisters Mrs. Mary Jane Gibson and Mrs. Elizabeth Stalder.

It was the second gun tragedy for the family. On Nov. 7, 1952, Dr. Joseph Vincent Quinn was killed while stopped for a light at Wilshire and Harvard boulevards. World War II veteran Richard D. Holbrook, who said he was being continually shot in the stomach with imaginary machine gun rounds, explained: "I don't like expensive automobiles."

There is no further word in The Times about William, who lived at 218 N. Elm Drive in Beverly Hills. California death records list a William Peter Joyce, who died in Orange County in 1986, at the age of 42. It's unclear if this is the same man.

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