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Pellet Gun Attacks Hurt 5

June 20, 2003|Allison Hoffman | Times Staff Writer

Five people were wounded in a series of drive-by pellet gun shootings Wednesday night in Griffith Park and the Hollywood area.

"There's a person out there, or persons out there, being cowardly," said Lt. Art Miller of the Los Angeles Police Department. "They're shooting people who are minding their own business."

Gene Gleeson, 59, a morning anchor for KABC Channel 7 News in Los Angeles, was riding his bike home through Griffith Park late Wednesday afternoon when he was shot in the lower back. "All of a sudden there's this 'pow!' and I felt a sting," he said Thursday.

Gleeson said he yelled at the car as it drove away, and cycled faster to catch up to it, but lost the car at an intersection.

Theresa Neill, 47, of Simi Valley was jogging uphill against traffic when she heard a loud noise and felt a sharp pain and then blood from the upper left side of her chest. "I was concentrating on finishing my run," said Neill, who regularly runs in the park after work. "It could have hit my eye. It was so scary."

Three other people were shot later Wednesday night in the Hollywood area.

A 15-year-old boy was walking on Serrano Avenue in east Hollywood about 9:20 p.m. when pellets struck him in the arm. About an hour later, a man was shot in the chest as he took out his garbage on Fountain Avenue. The fifth victim was shot a few blocks away about 11 p.m.

Gleeson described the car to police as a green, mid-1990s Toyota Camry. Neither he nor Neill saw the driver clearly. Gleeson said he saw only one person in the car, but Neill said she thinks a passenger was in the back seat.

Gleeson and Neill were taken to Glendale Memorial Hospital, where the medical staff reported caring for a woman who had been shot in a similar incident two weeks ago, police said. That shooting was not reported to police at the time.

Authorities have no suspects, and say there may be more victims who didn't call police. Miller said a pellet gun is more dangerous than many people think and has been known to kill.

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