LOCAL : 2 Wounded as Canoga Park Family Spat Over Puppy’s Mess Escalates

<i> From Times staff and wire service reports </i>

A dispute over a pet puppy escalated into a family argument during which a handgun held by a Canoga Park man went off, wounding both the man’s wife and 10-year-old son, Los Angeles police said today.

Randy Nater was in stable but guarded condition at Humana Hospital West Hills after being shot in the abdomen. His mother, Lylliam Nater, 33, was treated at the hospital for a graze wound in the throat and released.

Police arrested Joel Nater, 32, on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after the shooting at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at his home in the 23300 block of Welby Way. He was released on $12,000 bail this morning.

Detective Duane Burris said the shooting occurred during an argument begun when Joel Nater told his son to clean up a mess a puppy had made in a bathroom of the home. Burris said Randy Nater refused to clean it up and was spanked by his father. Lylliam Nater then grew angry over the disciplining of the boy and began arguing with her husband, Burris said. Joel Nater then went to a bedroom, retrieved a gun and was “waving it around” when it discharged, Burris said.


The bullet fragmented as it went through a wall and struck the two victims, Burris said. Three other boys, ages 5, 8 and 11, were not injured.

Although both Joel and Lylliam Nater said the shooting was an accident, the case will be presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for possible filing of charges, police said.