Authorities released few details about the mayhem that broke out at the Toys "R" Us store around 11:30 a.m. Friday, sending scared shoppers fleeing. Riverside County sheriff's Sgt. Dennis Gutierrez said the fight was not over a toy and that handguns were found by the men's bodies. He refused to say whether the shooting was gang-related.
The victims were identified as Alejandro Moreno, 39, of Desert Hot Springs, and Juan Meza, 28, of Cathedral City. No one else was hurt.
Witnesses Scott and Joan Barrick said they were checking out of the store when the brawl began between two women, each with a man. The women were near the checkout area, but the Barricks did not think the women had purchases.
One woman suddenly started punching the other woman, who fought back as blood flowed from her nose, said Scott Barrick, 41. The man who was with the woman being punched pulled a gun halfway out of his pocket, then shoved it back in, he said.