MERCED — Merced police are investigating whether a shooting in the Loughborough area Monday night that injured a 27-year-old man is a case of self defense.
Police went to the 900 block of Loughborough Drive at 10:50 p.m, where they found Darmon Lashaun LeBlanc, 27, lying on bus stop bench, wounded from a gunshot.
LeBlanc claimed to police he'd been shot during a drive-by, according to Sgt. Scott Skinner.
After further investigation, however, police said LeBlanc had been shot by his girlfriend's brother, Keith Laron Kinchion, 25. Police believe LeBlanc had called and threatened Kinchion around 2 p.m. Monday, saying he was going to kick down Kinchion's door and assault him.
Skinner said LeBlanc has a history of domestic violence towards his girlfriend.
Skinner said LeBlanc continued calling Kinchion and making threats. He then showed up at Kinchion's home about 10:50 p.m. and started kicking the door. Kinchion, his girlfriend and two children, ages 7 and 4, live at the home, police said.
Kinchion said he'd seen LeBlanc with a gun in the past, and knew he'd served time in prison, having been released in October. Kinchion felt LeBlanc would carry through with his threats to harm him, Skinner said.
Police said Kinchion's girlfriend went outside and asked LeBlanc to leave, and Kinchion armed himself with his 9 millimeter handgun, which is registered to him.
But LeBlanc entered the home, police said, and Kinchion saw he was holding his hand behind his back, as if he had a weapon. Kinchion warned LeBlanc he'd shoot, but LeBlanc brought his hand forward. Believing he was going to be shot, Kinchion fired at LeBlanc several times, Skinner said.
Police later determined LeBlanc wasn't armed. He was taken to a Modesto hospital, where he's listed in stable condition. Skinner said LeBlanc is expected to survive.
Detective Joe Deliman, who is investigating the case, said Kinchion was interviewed by police, but was not placed under arrest. When asked whether the shooting was in self defense, Deliman said "we're not ruling that out."
Skinner said police are continuing to interview witnesses, and the case will be forwarded to the Merced County District Attorney's Office for review.
LeBlanc's criminal background dates back to 1997, and includes arrests for narcotics, burglary and brandishing a replica firearm, according to Skinner.
In 2009, LeBlanc was convicted of second degree robbery and was sentenced to three years in prison.
Kinchion has never been arrested, according to police.
Police are asking anyone with information about the case to call Detective Joe Deliman at (209) 385-6992 or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Tips are kept confidential and you can remain anonymous.