A 65-year-old man with a gun and serious gripes about his contractor died Tuesday after being shot in a confrontation with sheriff’s deputies in the gated Laguna Woods Village retirement community, according to authorities.
Paul Mono lived in a residence there with his wife, says their real estate agent, Jennifer Heflin of Laguna Premier Realty. Based on Heflin’s interviews with Southern California media, she may have been the last person to see Mono alive before deputies took him out.
According to accounts of Heflin, contractor Dennis Metzler and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department: Mono and his wife moved from Marina del Rey to a home in the 600 block of Avenida Sevilla, Laguna Woods, about a year ago. Heflin kept in touch with the customer, who was upset with the escalating time and costs it was taking for Metzler to complete a remodeling job, anger that had been building and building for months.
Knowing that Mono had a short fuse, Metzler sat in his vehicle outside the customer’s residence as Heflin delivered new floor plans for the renovations. Examining them, Mono began yelling, took out a pistol, swang it toward Heflin (who late confided she did not believe he would shoot her) and threatened to kill Metzler.
Heflin, who says Mono put the gun down after she calmly asked him to, left the residence. But the commotion had already prompted neighbors called 9-1-1.
Deputies arrived shortly after 1 p.m., confronted Mono, who was armed again, and told him to put down the weapon. Witnesses say they heard one shot followed by four more. Mono was in extremely critical condition when he was rushed to Mission Hospital.
He died later that same day.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.