Hollywood and Highland shooting victim played 'Scream' character for tips, witnesses say

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Witnesses say the man shot and killed by Los Angeles police Friday night in Hollywood would regularly dress up like the character in the horror movie “Scream,” spooking people to solicit tips for photos.

Los Angeles police haven’t released the name of the man but describe him as a young, white adult male. He was shot just before 7 p.m. on Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue.

Two Los Angeles police bicycle officers shot and killed the man Friday night in Hollywood after someone called 911 to report a man with knife, according to L.A. police. Deputy Chief Terry Hara said the suspect was threatening the crowd and the officers. 

Danny Howe, who sings on Hollywood for tips, said he saw the man three or four days in the past week working as the “Scream” character for photo tips.

“He scares people for a living,” he said. “It kind of makes you wonder that if you scare people for a living, the cops are going to come.”

Howe and other street entertainers said sometimes the man would sneak up on people with a plastic knife or gun to surprise them.

“I was a in the middle of my show and tries to stick a knife on somebody trying to be scary,” said Tray Cherry, a drummer on Hollywood Boulevard.

Police said someone called 911 Friday to report they had been cut by a man wielding a knife. Capt. Peter Zarcone of LAPD’s Hollywood division said police never found those alleged victims.

“We didn’t find anybody that was cut,” Zarcone said. “We did have witness say he was swinging a knife and people were backing away from him.”

Police haven’t said how many shots were fired but many witnesses KPCC spoke to say there were several.

“I heard four shots,” said Anthony Morris, a drummer who plays for tips near the corner where the shooting happened. “I saw a bunch of people run past me and then stop and walk back.”

Morris said that’s when he saw two male police officers standing over the man’s body with guns drawn at him.

More than a thousand protesters dressed in black clothes marched up and down Hollywood Boulevard Saturday night to protest against the police shootings. 

Sam Seri first met the man three nights ago while he was working at Revolution Books on Hollywood Boulevard at Wilton. Seri said the man was sitting in front of the bookstore entrance and asked him to move over a bit.

“He moved and he just slept there,” Seri said. “He was very nice.”

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