A gunman who tried to steal $1 million in jewels belonging to the late Liberace was shot and killed by police when he fled the entertainer’s museum with a 74-year-old hostage.
The hostage, Margaret Bloomberg, had worked at the museum 10 years and was just closing the office Sunday when the gunman appeared, saying he wanted to deliver a plant.
The man pulled out a gun, forced his way into the museum and refused offers of money, Bloomberg said.
He carried a bag of tools, including a crowbar, and obviously intended to break into a case displaying $1 million in jewelry owned by Liberace, according to Dora Liberace, the administrator of the museum.
Hostage Just Sat Down
When the intruder spotted police, he forced Bloomberg out the front door at gunpoint and made his way toward a car he had driven to the scene, on the city’s southeast side.
“She just sat down on the sidewalk, pretending her legs had collapsed under her,” Dora Liberace said of her employee. “He tried to lift her in the car but couldn’t. He leaned back for a minute and the police shot him.”
“When I sat down I figured the police would pick him off, maybe,” Bloomberg said.
The dead man was identified as Hugh Perry, 47, of Las Vegas.
Metro Police Lt. Kyle Edwards said Perry had a lengthy arrest record dating back to the 1960s.