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L.A. attorney fatally shot outside his home

December 8, 2009 12:46:01 AM PST
A prominent attorney has died after being shot in the head outside his home in Rolling Hills Estates.Jeffrey Tidus, 53, was shot in his driveway on the 4600 block of Sugarhill Drive at about 8:30 p.m. Monday. He was transported to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, where he died from his injuries at about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Detectives dusted Tidus' Toyota Prius and driveway for fingerprints to uncover any clues into what they are calling a suspicious death. They say it is unclear who pulled the trigger. They haven't ruled out any possible scenarios, including suicide.

"Whatever kind of investigation you want to call it, it's going to be thorough, it's going to be complete and we will hopefully get to the bottom of what occurred out here as quickly as we humanly can," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Lt. Dave Dolson.

Investigators say his wife was inside the house at the time of the shooting, and at least one neighbor heard the gunshot. Another neighbor says Tidus' wife told her that the attorney had gone out to get his laptop out of his car when the shooting occurred.

Neighbors are stunned, but detectives say they don't believe residents should fear a killer is on the loose in the neighborhood.

Detectives did not find a gun at the scene. They also say there's no evidence of a robbery at this point of their investigation.

"The scene appears to be not so complex, it's pretty much contained to a small area. However, as the investigation develops, sometimes our scene investigations can become quite complex. We just don't know how far it will take us," said Dolson.

Tidus was an attorney for the law firm Baute & Tidus LLP in downtown Los Angeles. The firm would not comment on his death Tuesday.

According to his Web site, Tidus handled a wide variety of business litigation and securities cases, as well as professional malpractice. He represented several corporate clients such as Hawthorne Savings, Isuzu Motors of America and New Century Financial.

As the circumstances remain unknown, neighbors are sending their condolences to the Tidus family.

"So sorry to hear that because all the family, my God, and this is the worst time of year for something like this, you know, for a family," said neighbor Bob Talbot.

"He was friendly, walked his dogs up and down the street and jogged all the time. He was out and about all the time, so he was a very friendly guy and talked to everybody," said neighbor Mike Murphy.

The L.A. County Sheriff's Department says it is unclear if his job played any role in his death.


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