'Serial slingshot shooter', 81, dies days after his arrest

An 81-year-old California man accused of being a "serial slingshot shooter" who victimised his neighbours for nearly a decade has died just days after his arrest.

A Los Angeles County medical examiners report shows Prince King died from heart disease on Wednesday at a private residence.

Authorities arrested Mr King last week, ending a "lengthy investigation" into who had been firing ball bearings at cars and homes for years in the city of Azusa.

Mr King had pleaded not guilty and was due to appear in court next month.

The octogenarian was facing felony and misdemeanour vandalism charges.

Mr King was released on Tuesday following his arraignment and was due back in court on 17 June.

A judge had ordered him to stay 200 yards (183m) away from his home in Azusa. He was also told not make contact with his alleged victims and prohibited from possessing any deadly weapons, including slingshots.

Police found Mr King on Wednesday morning after receiving a call of a possible dead person, according to the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

“We didn’t find any evidence of foul play,” Azusa police Sgt Nick Covarrubias told the local news outlet.

The medical examiners report says the manner of death was "natural" and lists arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease as the cause.

Azusa police arrested Mr King after executing a search warrant on his home, where they found ball bearings and a slingshot.

Police accused Mr King of firing the slingshot toward home windows and car windshields, and "almost" hitting people, over a period of nine to 10 years.

"Dozens of citizens were being victimised by a serial slingshot shooter," police said.

Police said they were able to arrest Mr King when a recent uptick in complaints revealed a "pattern" and allowed them to "narrow it down to a specific residence".

They said the only motive they could discern was “malicious mischief”.