“A momma lost her son today,” University of Idaho football coach Robb Akey said on Mother's Day.

He was referring to returning senior Ken McRoyal, a Carson High School graduate who was gunned down outside a party at The Brewery Artist Lofts northeast of downtown yesterday.

According to reports McRoyal was in good spirits, hanging out with friends, and had just arrived at a party at the former Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery when an argument broke out and the 22-year-old was fatally shot:

Fox 11 News' Christina Gonzalez reported that cops believe he was not the intended target. Cops said he was shot in the upper body and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

“We were having a good time, dancing and joking and taking pictures and it happened so fast,” a witness told Fox 11.

Another man was shot in the arm and hospitalized, police said. It happened about 1:30 a.m. Sunday at the lofts at 1920 N. Main St., according to the LAPD and reports. The lofts are a known party spot where artist showings, after-hours soirees and DJ events were common.

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McRoyal had a 2-year-old daughter and was back in Southern California to see her. He said so on his Facebook page:

Credit: Ken McRoyal / Facebook

Credit: Ken McRoyal / Facebook

He attended El Camino College in Torrance before transferring to the University of Idaho, according to reports. A cousin who also plays football for Idaho told Fox 11 that McRoyal had a scholarship for his last year as a wide receiver at Idaho and that he was only about 13 units away from graduation.

City News Service reported that McRoyal moved to Carson from New Orleans in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.

“His goal was just to live his dream” of graduating from college, his high school sweetheart told Fox.

A man named Carl Capers, who identifies himself as a New Orleans native who now works with top artists in the music industry, said via Facebook that McRoyal was his son:

It's rare for a mother to lose her son on Mothers day. Just so happens my son was shot an killed this morning in Los Angeles while his mother lives in New Orleans. Instead of a Happy Mothers Day from her son. She get a call saying her child was shot and killed. R.I.P. Ken McRoyal. 5/13/12

Be blessed to live today. Because tomorrow is not promise.

As R.I.P. messages were being left on McRoyal's Facebook page and Twitter erupted with condolences, friends and family were planning a vigil this week.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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