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Crime

Multiple People Shot at Hollywood Residence That Went Up in Flames

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Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM

click to enlarge @KNXCLAUDIA
  • @KNXClaudia
Updated at the bottom with the suspected shooter, a fourth victim found inside the house. First posted at 1:04 p.m.

At least three people were shot at a residence in Hollywood that went up in flames, according to police and fire officials.

Police were called to 517 N. Harvard Boulevard at 12:40 p.m. today, LAPD Officer Sarah Faden told LA Weekly.

It wasn't clear if the shooting or the fire happened first, she said.

A suspect was described as a 40-year old man, Faden said.


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KTLA News' live coverage of the situation showed officers with guns drawn as firefighters continued to work on the flames at the residence.

click to enlarge @KFINEWS
  • @KFINews

Faden told us, "I'm guessing that the suspect is still outstanding."

The station said that it was possible four people were shot. Faden said additional victims were reported but she wasn't firm on that.

The condition of the victims was unknown.

click to enlarge Smoke from the Harvard fire. - @NICKWALSH
  • @NickWalsh
  • Smoke from the Harvard fire.

[Added at 1:18 p.m.]: KTLA says three people were shot outside the home and that one additional victim was found shot inside.

Faden said the fire seemed to start at the rear of the residence.

The L.A. Fire Department sent out a press alert at 1:01 p.m. stating that "scene is NOT secure." Firefighters were working on the flames as police officers were next to them with guns drawn, as seen on KTLA.

The station was streaming live coverage of the situation here.

[Added at 1:34 p.m]: KTLA says neighbors were being evacuated. Havard Elementary School, nearby, was "on lockdown," too, the station reported.

[Added at 1:40 p.m.]: L.A. Fire Department spokesman Matt Spence told KTLA that firefighters were told there was an "active shooter" at the scene. The department then made the decision to let the fire "burn itself out," he said.

[Note]: Other outlets are calling the area East Hollywood but it does not fall within the boundaries of the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council. [More on this]: Strangely, the block is served by the Koreatown-centric Olympic Division of the LAPD.

[Update at 2:12 p.m.]: LAPD Lt. Andy Neiman told KTLA that while police were being cautious and treating the situation as if the shooter was still at-large, "there's a great possibility that the suspect and an additional victim may be inside that house."

[Update at 3:48 p.m.]: In an email statement the Los Angeles Fire Department described the three known victims:

1 approx 34 Y/O M + 2 approx 38 Y/O FM. All treated for apparent gunshot wounds. Tsp to local hosp in unkwn cond

(Translation: One 34-year-old-sih man, two 38-year-old-ish women -- hospitalized in unknown condition).

The LAPD still says its possible there's one more victim and / or a possible shooter inside the structure.

The fire department declared the fire out in its 3:14 p.m. statement. It said it took 2 hours, 30 minutes to put the blaze out of the business. About 150 firefighters were assigned to the call.

Claudia Peschiutta of KNX 1070 Newsradio interviewed a witness who said a man was seen kicking down the door of the home shortly before shots were fired and the flames erupted.

Likewise, the Los Angeles Times reported that a witness saw "a young man with a ponytail, dressed in black, wearing a hooded sweatshirt and carrying a duffel bag" bang on the home's front door before the attack.

KNX reported that people heard possible gunfire even as the first firefighters arrived on scene. However, it was also possible the sounds were from items exploding in the fire.

[Update at 4:11 p.m.]: The suspected shooter and a fourth victim were found deceased inside the home, reports Peschiutta. LAPD Officer Rosario Herrera just told us "we're trying to verify that information."

[Added at 4:27 p.m.]: Officer Sarah Faden confirmed for us that two bodies -- believed to be those of the suspected shooter and a male victim -- were found inside the burned home.

It wasn't clear if they died from shooting or fire.

She said a woman and man who survived the shooting were hospitalized in "serious-to-critical" condition while the other woman was listed as "serious." Faden added:

It has turned into a homicide investigation. The detectives and the fire department will be working closely to determine what took place and how those individuals passed away.

[Added at 5:51 p.m.]: KNX interviewed a man who said he lived at the house and that the suspect was a former boyfriend of one of the women who was shot.

The man said he arrived to see his home burning. He said he had to stand there as all his possessions went up in smoke: Firefighters stood back as a result of the threat of gunfire.

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

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