Fight Between Brothers Ends in Fatal Shooting

Times Staff Writer

A man fatally shot his brother at their family’s Buena Park liquor store after the pair had an argument, police said Wednesday.

James Aaron Tanquary later told Buena Park police that he fired a pistol at his brother “to scare him,” officers said, adding that it was not clear what the argument was about.

Russell Simon Tanquary, 32, was wounded about 11:20 p.m. Tuesday by a bullet that entered his left arm and then his chest, Buena Park Police spokesman Terry Branum said. Branum said that the victim, a Whittier resident, was declared dead at 12:19 a.m. at St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton.

James Tanquary, 35, of Brea was booked into Orange County Jail on suspicion of murder. He was being held Wednesday without bail, Branum said.


Russell Tanquary had been working as a clerk at the family-run Beach Liquor Mart on Beach Boulevard Tuesday night when his mother, Kathryn Tanquary, and brother arrived, police said.

Investigators gave this account: As their mother counted receipts in an office at the rear of the store, the brothers began arguing near the front counter and James Tanquary told his mother to kick the brother out of the store. Russell then “punched him in the left side of the face,” and James pulled his gun from his pants pocket and fired it at his brother “to scare him.”

Kathryn Tanquary told officers that she heard Russell run into the stockroom and then into a walk-in refrigerator, with James behind him.

“She said it sounded like they were hitting each other and she screamed for them to stop,” Branum said, reading from a police report on the shooting. “Russell suddenly collapsed and said to call an ambulance.”


James Tanquary called the 911 emergency line and an officer who was near the store on another matter arrived less than a minute later and began resuscitation efforts, Branum said.

James Tanquary purchased the gun a few months ago, police said. The store has been robbed at least once a year, Branum added.