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Neighbors: Hollywood gunman was an ex-boyfriend

Mario Hernandez

February 17, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Investigators believe a domestic dispute sparked a gunman's shooting spree in East Hollywood that ended with a house up in flames.

The large home on the 500 block of Harvard Boulevard is a complete loss.

Daniel Choy tried to salvage what he could from the charred remnants of the house he was renting with his wife and three roommates. He wasn't at home when a gunman barged into the house on Thursday and shot Choy's wife and three other residents.

Investigators say the gunman then set the house on fire before turning the gun on himself. He was identified as Mario Hernandez.

Choy's wife Laurel was shot four times. She remains at County-USC Medical Center in stable condition. Another roommate, Brandon Guerrero, is in guarded condition, as is a third victim, Shaunna Heth. A fourth roommate died inside the house, but his identity and cause of death have not been released.

The house was fully engulfed in flames, forcing the evacuation of nearby buildings. Authorities believe that the person who set the fire, believed to be the gunman, may have used an accelerant to get the fire going because it was such a large fire

Andy Ulloa lives in the apartments right next to the ruined house, and says he heard the gunman open fire, then watched as the flames climbed up to his second-story window.

"We just heard gunshots, then we heard screaming," he said. "I don't know what that guy did. I think he just put gasoline all over this house, just lit it up."

Neighbors identified the suspect as 56-year-old Mario Hernandez, and said he was Heth's ex-boyfriend. Police have not confirmed that information, saying only that there was some kind of relationship between the gunman and a person at the house.

James Sheridan, owner of the house, said he will probably end up demolishing what's left.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact the LAPD at (877) LAPD-24-7.