Gunman opens fire in Hollywood

2011-12-10 12:02
Los Angeles - A gunman opened fire on motorists in the heart of Hollywood on Friday, wounding a man before police shot and killed him in an incident some witnesses initially mistook for the filming of a movie.

The man drew a gun and began firing at motorists passing through the famed Hollywood intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street, Los Angeles Police spokesperson Cleon Joseph said.

The suspect, identified only as a male Hispanic, struck at least one driver with a bullet before he was shot by police officers and pronounced dead at the scene, Joseph said.

The 40-year-old driver wounded by gunfire was taken to a local hospital, where he was listed in critical condition, police said.

An investigation had not yet determined a motive for the shooting, which touched off confusion and panic in the busy Hollywood intersection.

Witness Micah Williams told local KCAL-9 TV that he and a friend were walking nearby when the gunman began shooting "in every which direction".

Williams said he and his friend thought at first the gunfire was part of a movie.

"Then the third one ricocheted right by our head and I was like, 'Dude, they're shooting at us,'" Williams said.

A spokesperson for FilmLA, an agency that co-ordinates film and television permits in Los Angeles, said he could not confirm reports an off-duty officer working on a nearby movie set had responded to the scene.

Gangster Squad a crime drama starring Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Sean Penn, has been filming in the area in recent days, but that set was at least several blocks away, the spokesperson said.

A series of videos taken from a nearby office tower and posted on Twitter showed the man, dressed in black pants and a white shirt, walking in the intersection firing what appeared to be a handgun as motorists slammed on their brakes and veered out of the way.

Police were then seen arriving on the scene and running in the man's direction, with several more shots fired out of the camera's view.

Witness Oscar Herrera told KCBS-TV that when the suspect apparently ran out of bullets, he put the gun into his waistband and took out a knife before he was shot by police.
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