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Reality TV director shot dead at Glassell Park home; leads sought

CrimeCrime, Law and JusticeShootingsAmerica's Next Top Model (tv program)Tila Tequila

Police say a home invasion shooting in Glassell Park that left a reality TV director dead and his wife wounded the morning before Thanksgiving appears to be a random act of violence.

James Marcus Howe, who worked on "America's Next Top Model" and "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila," was shot dead within minutes after he and his wife answered the door for what they thought was a lone salesman.

After opening the front door, another man and a woman forced their way inside, police said. As an ensuing altercation quickly escalated, one of the men pulled out a handgun. A barrage of bullets flew just inside the doorway of the home the couple shared with their 6-year-old son in the 4400 block of West Avenue 42, investigators said.

Howe, 42, died at the scene, and his wife was rushed to the hospital, seriously wounded. She survived.

"The victims were completely innocent. There is nothing to connect them with the assailants," said Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Jose Perez.

The shooting was by all accounts random with no obvious motive, he added.

Witnesses described the suspects as two black males and a black female, Perez said. The man who pretended to be a solicitor was described as 16 to 22 years old; the gunman as 20 to 25 years old. No estimated age was given on the female, according to police.

Howe and his wife began renting the home several months before the shooting. The Glassell Park neighborhood in the last six months has had 21 violent crimes and 167 property crimes.

Perez said witnesses saw the suspects flee in a dark Mustang. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at (323) 344-5731.

[For the record, Dec. 6, 7:57 a.m. PST: An earlier version of this post incorrectly said the street on which the shooting took place was West Avenue.]

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richard.winton@latimes.com

Twitter: @LACrimes

alicia.banks@latimes.com

Twitter: @AliciaDotBanks

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