Friends say Hollywood shooter had tough breakup

Associated Press
Investigators look at a body at the scene of a fatal shooting, Friday,  Dec. 9, 2011, in the Hollywood are of Los Angeles, Calif. A gunman who fired at cars and shouted "kill me" and "I'm gonna die!" was shot to death Friday by police after wounding a driver in the heart of Hollywood, authorities and a witness reported. (AP Photo/Josh Edelson)
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Friends and neighbors of a gunman who was shot dead by police as he fired randomly at passing cars on a Hollywood street — critically wounding one man — say he was deeply troubled by the recent breakup with his girlfriend.

Authorities released the identity of Tyler Brehm Saturday and examined the 26-year-old's body, Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Larry Dietz said, a day after the shootout at Hollywood's intersection of Sunset and Vine.

Investigators have not released a motive for Friday's attack.

Friends and neighbors said Brehm was stung by the relationship's end.

"He wasn't a bad guy, he just got fed up," stunned friend and neighbor Christina Mesropian said after a KNBC-TV news crew told her the shooter that caused the disturbing scene was Brehm.

Mesropian said he was struggling to overcome a breakup with girlfriend Alicia Alligood.

"He was like 'Ah, I'm over it, I'm over it,' but I could tell he wasn't over it," Mesropian said.

Alligood, did not appear on camera, but told a KNBC reporter only that she and Brehm had "been dating for four and a half years, we broke up recently."

Ramon Hernandez, who lived in the apartment next door to Brehm, said the couple had recently moved out. He told KABC-TV that they kept to themselves but he at times heard them arguing.

"I could tell that he was an unstable person," Hernandez said, "but I don't know the details on what actually made him snap."

Brehm walked down the middle of Sunset Boulevard, firing on motorists with no clear target and injuring three of them until two police officers who just happened to be in the area — an off-duty motorcycle officer working movie set security and an LAPD detective — shot and killed him, authorities said.

In amateur video taken at the shooting scene, the gunman appeared to have short hair and wore jeans and a white tank top. He paced back and forth near the busy intersection with Vine Street, firing close to 20 rounds from what appeared to be a .40 caliber handgun, police said. Several witnesses reported seeing him reload at least once.

"He was screaming he was going to die and that he wanted to die," Gregory Bojorquez, a photographer who captured images of the shooting's aftermath, told the Los Angeles Times.

He continued shooting at vehicles and in the air when he was confronted by the officers.

They ordered the suspect to stop and drop his weapon. He was shot when he pointed his weapon at the officers. The gunman was pronounced dead at the scene, Los Angeles police Officer Cleon Joseph said. No officers were hurt.

The 40-year-old male driver of a Mercedes-Benz was wounded in the face and upper torso and taken to a hospital in "guarded and critical condition," police said in a statement.

The man, John Atterberry, was at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and remained in critical condition Saturday night, hospital spokeswoman Simi Singer told The Associated Press.

Atterberry is a music industry executive who has worked with artists like Brandy, The Spice Girls and Jessica Simpson, according to the trade paper The Hollywood Reporter and other media outlets.

A truck and another car were struck by bullets.

Two people were treated at the scene for minor injuries. One man suffered a grazing wound to his left thigh when a bullet passed through his car door. Another man had minor cuts from broken glass after bullet struck the driver door where it met the window.

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Associated Press writer Andrew Dalton contributed to this report.

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