'Get up. You know I love you'
After a Warlocks member allegedly shot his girlfriend, Upper Darby neighbors said they heard his words of affection.
THE GIANT letters and skull-filled periods tattooed on Michael DeLuca's neck stand for Same S--- Different Day, cops say, but Tuesday was hardly routine for DeLuca and his live-in girlfriend.
DeLuca, 31, a member of the Warlocks Motorcycle Club, told police he was tattooing himself while high on meth and pot when a gun poking through his couch cushions caused such discomfort that he pulled it out and accidentally shot his 19-year-old girlfriend in the head, Upper Darby Police said.
Following the shooting, neighbors told police they heard DeLuca say to his girlfriend: "Get up. You know I love you," according to Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood.
But she couldn't.
Police said DeLuca's girlfriend was in extremely critical but stable condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania with a gunshot wound from a bullet that entered behind her left ear and exited through her left eyebrow.
And police aren't buying DeLuca's story of an accidental shooting.
"The crime scene shows no way did that happen," Chitwood said. "We believe it was a domestic-violence fight and he shot her. Pure and simple."
About 8:45 p.m., DeLuca, of West Chester Pike near State Road in Upper Darby, called 9-1-1 and said he had been cleaning his gun when it accidentally discharged, striking his girlfriend, Chitwood said. However, when police arrived, DeLuca allegedly changed his story.
He said he was tattooing himself and smoking pot to come down from some meth he'd snorted earlier when he felt a gun in the small of his back, police said.
According to Chitwood, DeLuca's exact words to investigators were: "We were sitting on the couch smoking a bowl of marijuana while I was trying to put a tattoo on my arm. I felt something in the couch and I pulled out a gun. The trigger was back and I shot her in the head. It was an accident."
Chitwood said investigators believe the shooting was a domestic incident, especially after talking to witnesses who claimed to have heard DeLuca calling his girlfriend profane names moments before he allegedly shot her.
"Then they heard a bang and something fell and they heard the male's voice saying, 'Get up. You know I love you,' " Chitwood said.
The entire time, the victim's 3-year-old son was with a neighbor in an apartment downstairs, police said.
DeLuca has been on police radar for some time, both for his involvement with the Warlocks and for numerous arrests over the years for offenses including robbery and aggravated assault, Chitwood said.
While searching the couple's apartment, police said, they found DeLuca's Warlocks motorcycle jacket.
"He brags about it. You don't have those types of jackets unless you're a member or you wind up dead," Chitwood said. "It's like impersonating a cop, except they kill you."
DeLuca was charged with attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault and related offenses. He was being held in lieu of $2.5 million bail.
Chitwood said DeLuca was a convicted felon, for whom it would be a federal offense to possess a firearm. Police have traced the gun he allegedly used to its original owner, who did not report it stolen. An investigation was continuing.
"He won't be riding his motorcycle for a while," Chitwood said.