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Hollywood shootout: Gunman 'wanted to die a loud death,' witness says

December 9, 2011 | 11:55 am

Trey Beffa was taking a telephone order from a client for some Cabernet near the front of K&L Wine Merchants when he spotted a young Latino man with a handgun on the other side of the street.

“I saw him walking up the street and I told her, 'Let me call you back,’” Beffa said.

Over the next minute or so, Beffa watched from his store as the man walked up Vine Street, just south of Sunset Boulevard, randomly shooting at cars.

“He was almost running up the street. He was just going up randomly. Cars were driving down Vine Street. He would walk right up to them and shoot the car,” Beffa said.

Beffa said it appeared that the man shot at several cars in a nearby McDonalds parking lot.

Then, Beffa said, he watched in horror as a man walked out of a Bank of America on the corner, apparently unaware of the chaos outside.

The bank customer “didn’t know what was going on,” Beffa said. “The guy walked up to him when he was in his car and started yelling at him and fired point-blank range. He shot at the window and then he walked around and shot him right through the driver’s side window.”

The bank customer was later taken to a nearby hospital. His condition is unknown.

Beffa said he noticed the man yelling up at a building, though he said it was unclear what -- if anything -- had angered the man.

After several moments, Hollywood Business Improvement District private security officers  arrived and cordoned off Vine Street, and pulled their guns in an effort to prevent the gunman’s advance, Beffa said.

Los Angeles police officers arrived on Vine Street and drew their guns on the man as well.

“He was right in the middle of the street, yelling,” Beffa said.

“He wanted to die a loud death," he said. "They shot him, and hit him once. He kept yelling and running. He still had the gun in his hand. You could see the blood on his white shirt. He was still running around.

"At that point," Beffa said, "they finished him off.”


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 -- Sam Quinones


Photo: A body lies in the street near the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Hollywood where a gunman was firing randomly Friday morning. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times