LANCASTER – A man who told deputies he accidentally shot a woman to death inside a Lancaster smoke shop this past weekend has been charged with murder.
Samy Ali Mahmoud was charged with one count of murder Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office.
Mahmoud appeared in an Antelope Valley courtroom, but did not enter a plea. His arraignment was postponed and his bail was raised to $2 million, according to the district attorney’s office.
Mahmoud had been jailed on $1 million bail since Monday morning, when he was arrested in connection with the shooting death of 23-year-old Reyna Araceli Gutierrez.
Gutierrez was shot in the chest with a shotgun on Sunday, Jan. 27 inside the Smoke Shack, at 137 East Avenue J in Lancaster, sheriff’s officials said.
Gutierrez had been in a back room cleaning around 4 p.m. when Mahmoud, who worked at the store, came into the room and began handling the store owner’s shotgun, according to Sheriff’s Homicide Lt. Eddie Hernandez.
“He was saying that the shotgun fell and discharged, striking the female in the chest,” Hernandez said previously.
Gutierrez was rushed to the hospital where she was pronounced dead. Several employees and customers were in the store at the time of the incident, officials said.
There were surveillance cameras inside the store, but the cameras did not capture the incident, according to media reports.
Detectives questioned Mahmoud for several hours, before he was arrested around 2:10 a.m. Monday.
Mahmoud is due back in court on Thursday, February 14 for arraignment, according to the district attorney’s office.
UPDATE: Samy Mahmoud appeared in court on Feb. 14, but did not enter a plea. Instead his arraignment was postponed until Thursday, March 7, 2013.