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Neighbor saw gunman spread gasoline around East Hollywood house

February 17, 2012 |  1:00 pm


From his apartment next door to the house on Harvard Boulevard in East Hollywood, Andy Ulloa watched as a man first argued with the residents, then began shooting, and finally quickly doused the house with an orange container of gasoline.

“It looked like he didn't care no more,” said Ulloa, 21. “He was really mad.”

The flames quickly consumed the house Thursday afternoon. In the end, three people were found wounded and two people dead: one was the gunman and the other a fourth victim, who hasn't yet been identified.

The flames poured out of the windows, lapping up against Ulloa’s apartment next door, which, except for a few broken windows, was unscathed.

After it was all over, firefighters pulled two bodies from the wreckage. “They had them right here, all burned up,” said Ulloa, standing on a driveway next to the charred house.

Police Friday were trying to ascertain a motive for the shooting that began Thursday afternoon when a man with a bag entered the house. Fire and police officials said they believe the gunman intentionally set fire to the home.

Newlyweds Laurel and Daniel Choy shared the house with three other people, the residents and landlords told KTLA and The Times. KTLA reported that Laurel was one of the survivors. She was shot four times in the chest and once in the hand, but she is expected to survive. Her husband was not home at the time.

Another roommate, Gary Davidson, who has spoken to media, also was not home. Shaunna Heth, 38, the possible target of the gunman, was also shot. She is reportedly the suspect's ex-girlfriend.

Roommate Brad Draconis remains unaccounted for. He was not answering his cellphone.

Ulloa said he didn’t know the residents of the large house next door, but they’d moved in only in the last few months and were friendly, spending the weekends outside, often waving to neighbors.

“They’d have their little laughs, their beers, their smokes,” Ulloa said. “You didn’t expect this from them.”


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-- Sam Quinones and Richard Winton


Photo: Andy Ulloa, a neighbor on the 500 block of North Harvard Boulevard, says he saw a gunman douse the house next door to him with gasoline. Credit: Sam Quinones / Los Angeles Times