A man armed with two shotguns, a hunting knife and handcuffs walked into a downtown investment firm in pursuit of his estranged wife Wednesday, opened fire on his wife's sister and was killed by police when he aimed his gun at an officer, police said.
Los Angeles Police Lt. William Hall said the man, whose name was being withheld, entered the Security Pacific Building at 800 W. 6th Street at about 2:30 p.m., concealing his weapons, ammunition, duct tape, rope and two cans of charcoal lighter fluid in a garment bag.
When he arrived at Seyen Investment Co., the seventh-floor office where his wife works, the man saw his wife's sister, who is a receptionist at the company. When the sister said the wife was not there, Hall said, the man began chasing her and fired one of his 12-gauge shotguns in the air, shooting out several windows and then shooting the woman in the lower leg.
About a dozen employees dove under their desks when the shooting started, Hall said, and several called 911. Before two officers arrived, a 911 operator had alerted them that the man, who Hall described as in his mid-20s, was armed.
"Their pleasant task was to ride the elevator and let the doors open and see what was going to confront them," he said. But when they arrived on the seventh floor, everything was quiet, he said--all they could hear was the injured woman crying.
Suddenly, the gunman appeared around a corner and aimed his shotgun at the officers, Hall said. One of the officers fired his shotgun once, striking the man in the chest. The man died at the scene.
The sister was taken to County-USC Medical Center. Hall said she is expected to live, but may lose a part of one leg. The wife, who was in the office when her husband arrived, managed to evade him and was uninjured. Authorities refused to disclose the names of the two women.
Hall said that judging from the items the man carried with him, it appeared that he had planned his attack carefully and that he perhaps intended to kidnap his wife.
"It appeared had he found his wife, shooting her was the least of her problems," Hall said. "I believe he had some pretty sinister ideas. Who knows what he had in mind."