Possible Warning of Junk Yard Shooting

SANTA MARIA, Calif. (AP) -- The man accused of killing four people at an auto wrecking yard allegedly warned of the shooting a half hour before the carnage started.

The caretaker of Black Road Auto said Lee Isaac Bedwell Leeds called him Tuesday afternoon and told him "there's going to be a shooting" at the property.

Police on Wednesday said they arrested Leeds, 31, of Santa Maria, for investigation of murder. The shooting victims included his father, 66-year-old Robert Leeds, who owned the business.

Lee Leeds is being held without bail, police said.

Tony Stevens, a caretaker and security guard at Black Road Auto, said Lee Leeds called him at about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday to warn of the shooting. Stevens said Leeds told him: "'Listen to me careful: There's going to be a shooting.'"

Stevens said he panicked and drove to the wrecking yard, planning to call police when he got there.

Instead, he found the area cordoned off.

Leeds was involved in some type of dispute with at least one of the victims, but he refused to talk to detectives, police Chief Danny Macagni said at a news conference.

It wasn't known Wednesday whether Leeds had retained an attorney.

Leeds apparently was a driver for the business and might previously have been a co-owner with his father, police said.

Witnesses told investigators they saw Leeds enter the wrecking yard on the outskirts of Santa Maria, about 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles, about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Macagni said Leeds armed himself with a semi-automatic handgun that had been kept at the business and shot his father once in the chest.

He then walked through the property and shot two other people multiple times before shooting a fourth victim in the rear of the business, Macagni said.

The other victims were Terry Edward Majan, 37, an employee at the yard, and Richard Cardenas Leal, 33, a customer. A fourth victim, also an employee, was not identified because that person's relatives have not been notified, Macagni said.

In all, 17 shots were fired in the attack, he said.

Leeds was chased down by officers at the yard and taken into custody.

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