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Parents of Sac State student killed by pellet gun settle with fraternity, trigger man's estate

Molly Jarone, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in News & Features

A settlement has been reached between a fraternity, the man who pulled the trigger, and the family of a Sacramento State student who was killed by a pellet gun at a fraternity party in 2019, according to Sacramento Superior Court documents.

The Pi Kappa Alpha International Fraternity and its Theta Tau chapter agreed to pay $200,000 to William F. Molina and Donna Goles, the parents of William Alexander Molina, who was killed by a “penetrating pellet wound of chest,” according to his autopsy report.

The family of the man accused of accidentally shooting Molina agreed to pay an additional $100,000 to settle the case, court documents show.

After an investigation by the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, prosecutors decided not to pursue criminal charges, saying the facts of the case indicated the death was accidental.

Molina was fatally injured while attending a party on Lycoming Court, at an unofficial house of Pi Kappa Alpha, in the College/Glen section of the city not far from the university’s campus.

Firefighters responded to the home around 3 a.m. April 12, 2019, to reports a a 21-year-old man who had passed out, according to police radio traffic at the time. After they arrived, fire personnel alerted police and officers found Molina had been shot in the chest by a pellet gun projectile.


Molina was transported to UC Davis Medical Center where he later died. He was scheduled to graduate with a business degree later that spring.

Pellet gun incident ‘tragic’ and rare

Deaths caused by pellet gun injuries are rare, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency reports about four deaths per year caused by BB guns or pellet guns, saying airguns that fire pellets at muzzle velocities higher than 350 feet per second can be lethal.

At the time, Assistant Chief Deputy District Attorney Rod Norgaard said investigators determined it was a “tragic accident and that the facts did not warrant the filing of any criminal charges.”


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