Laguna Beach police reports first homicide since August as condo resident shot and left for dead

Laguna Beach Police Department detectives are investigating a homicide that occurred Tuesday morning at 31755 Coast Hwy., after a suspect broke the window of a second-floor condominium and fatally shot a man inside. The incident is the city’s first homicide in nearly a year. Officers received a call at 5:19 a.m.

Tuesday from a Laguna Lido resident, who reportedly heard the sound of breaking glass followed by gunshots, according to a department release issued Tuesday. Responding to the scene, the officers searched the premises and discovered a second-floor unit with a broken window. Upon entering the residence, officers located a man who appeared to be suffering from gunshot wounds.

Paramedics were called and appeared on scene shortly thereafter, but the man had already succumbed to his wounds, the release stated. Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota said the victim has been identified as 46-year-old Barrett Slome, a part-time Laguna Beach resident who also lives part time in Los Angeles.

Slome was alone in his apartment at the time the incident occurred and did not live there with anyone else, Cota said. Detectives with the department’s Major Crimes Investigations Unit are not releasing any suspect description at this time and are reviewing area surveillance camera footage to learn more about what may have happened, according to Cota. The Orange County Crime Lab is assisting the unit with evidence collection and processing the scene of the crime.

The incident marks the first recorded homicide to occur inside city limits since Aug.

18, 2019, when 61-year-old Megan Estes Hampton was killed in her Laguna Terrace Park mobile home. Her son, Matthew Bryson McDonald, is suspected of the crime. Before that, the city had gone nearly seven years without a homicide.

Anyone with information about Tuesday’s shooting is asked to call Major Crimes Unit Det. Brandon Drake (949) 497-0767 or Det. Joy Butterfield at (949) 497-0373.

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