L.A. Shooting: Hollywood Reporter Editor Shot, Recalls Incident

Chris Godley
Chris Godley
 Aaron Pinkston

THR.com photo editor Chris Godley was shot by a gunman in Hollywood on Friday morning, but was only grazed by a bullet and not seriously injured in an incident that was captured on video by witnesses and widely circulated on the Internet.

A gunman randomly opened fire at the intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Vine Street in Los Angeles on Friday morning at about 10:15 a.m. The man was shot and killed by police, who may have been working on a nearby film set. The shooter reportedly fired nine to 12 shots and after running out of bullets, he allegedly pulled out a knife while shouting, "Kill me" and "I want to be killed," the Associated Press has reported. The identity of the gunman has been withheld by authorities.

The shooting occurred while Godley, 27, a Hollywood Reporter staffer since October 2010, was driving into work from his North Hollywood home. Godley's right leg was grazed by a bullet in the incident.  

Godley said that while he waited at a red light at the intersection of Sunset and Vine, he noticed two men who were ducking behind objects, but he didn't make much of it because they appeared to be joking around. As he entered the intersection -- driving south on Vine -- the gunman fired a shot into a red Honda Civic, shattering a window. At first, Godley thought he was stumbling upon a movie crew that was filming in the area and had neglected to cordon off the intersection. However, Godley said it quickly became apparent that the situation was dire.

VIDEO: Gunman Opens Fire Near Hollywood's ArcLight Theater

"I processed the information very quickly. I hit my gas pedal and sped through the intersection as fast as I could," Godley said in a telephone interview on Friday evening. "I knew he was going to take a shot at me. He took a shot and it went through my driver side door, grazed my leg, bounced off of my iPad and went into my passenger side door. It did not come out the other side of the door, so the bullet is in my door."

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Footage of the incident shows Godley's black 2003 Toyota Tacoma speeding through the intersection as the gunman, clad in jeans and a white undershirt, fires a shot only a few feet from the driver-side window of the pickup truck. Godley said he did not get a good look at the shooter. Another man, driving a Mercedes-Benz, was shot in the jaw and was transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

"If he had aimed a little bit better I could just be gone right now," said Godley. "I am still processing all of that. I think it has yet to really set in.” 

After making it past the shooter, Godley continued down Vine to De Longpre Avenue, where he turned right and parked his car. After checking to make sure he wasn't seriously injured, Godley dialed 911. He later returned to the scene, where he spent several hours being interviewed by investigators from the Los Angeles Police Department, who retained his car for examination. Later, at a nearby police station, he was examined by paramedics.

Godley said that he remains puzzled by the men who appeared to be having fun as they ducked away from the gunman's attack. "That seemed odd to me at the time and it seems odd to me now.”

He has not watched footage of the incident. "I think I am going to watch it but not tonight,” Godley said.

Resting at home on Friday night, Godley said he is still processing the incident.

“I'm still pretty numb to the situation right now," he said. "I had a little bit of an awakening in the shower when I really looked at my leg and really kind of processed how close the bullet came to doing a lot more damage than it did."

Update: Dec. 11, 1:43 a.m. Additional information on the shooting has been released since Friday. The gunman has been identified as 26-year-old Tyler Brehm. The other victim of the shooting has been identified as music industry executive John Atterberry, who was shot in the face. He is listed in critical condition at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Also, the gunman's ex-girlfriend, Alicia Alligoodtold KTLA News in an interview that Brehm had been "stressed out" in the days leading up to the incident and began taking drugs given to him by a woman he believed was a pharmaceutical salesperson. Alligood said Brehm was a "humanitarian" who was "extremely motivated to change the world for the better," according to KTLA.

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Email: Daniel.Miller@THR.com

Twitter: @DanielNMiller

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