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L.A. Lawyer Recovering From Shooting

November 1, 2003

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A lawyer was hospitalized in good condition Saturday after being shot several times outside a courthouse, an attack videotaped by TV crews who were there to cover actor Robert Blake’s murder case.

Police said William Strier, who apparently was angry that Gerry Curry was being paid from his trust fund, fired a revolver from close range at the lawyer just outside the Van Nuys courthouse on Friday. Curry was hit several times in the upper body, said Los Angeles police Capt. Jim Miller.

Dramatic television footage showed Curry, 53, of Simi Valley, trying to hide behind a tree as the man police identified as Strier fired several times. Bleeding from the face, Curry staggered into the street and collapsed as the shooter calmly walked away.

An off-duty sheriff’s reserve officer tackled the man from behind, and Strier, 64, was arrested and booked for investigation of attempted murder.

David Katz, the reserve deputy, said Saturday he was around the corner when he heard five or six shots. The camera crews were all pointing at the man walking away and were whispering, ``He’s the shooter,″ Katz said.

``I took my jacket off, dropped my briefcase, turned around and figured that the only opportunity I would have is one chance to hit him hard and take him down to hopefully prevent him from shooting anyone else,″ Katz told NBC’s ``Today″ show.

He said the man didn’t say anything as he and some of the cameramen pinned him down.

Strier’s attorney, Steven Trolard, wouldn’t immediately comment late Friday. Strier was being held on $500,000 bail and was expected to be arraigned Tuesday, authorities said.

Court documents show Strier was involved in a dispute in which he alleged a trustee appointed by the court to manage his trust fund was withholding money he needed for medical care.

The fund was established with money Strier received in an injury settlement.

Court documents showed the dispute was so volatile that trustee Evelyn Murphy said she felt ``physically threatened″ by Strier and claimed he called her in late August and warned, ``I’m going to kill you.″

Murphy, who was represented by Curry, asked to resign as Strier’s trustee and requested that a judge grant more money from the fund _ about $6,240 _ for her and Curry’s services.

A court hearing had been scheduled Friday on Murphy’s request. Police said there was no indication Strier, who had two revolvers, went into the courthouse.

Police said the attack was not connected to the Blake hearing. The actor had been escorted down the same walkway 30 minutes earlier.


AP Special Correspondent Linda Deutsch contributed to this story.

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