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Intruder Took LSD on Night of Rampage, Friends Say : Crimes: Gene Brian Holloway’s mother-in-law insists that he did not have time to attend a rock concert. It was there that friends contend he obtained the drug.

TIMES STAFF WRITERS

A man who went on a bizarre rampage through a Reseda neighborhood and was shot to death after crashing through a window of a family’s home had taken LSD earlier that evening, his friends told Los Angeles police Monday.

Police said they will not be able to confirm whether Gene Brian Holloway, 23, took the psychedelic drug until an autopsy and toxicological tests are completed in about six weeks.

Holloway was shot to death about 10:30 p.m. Friday by James E. Bruner, 38, after Holloway crashed naked and bloody through a plate-glass window into Bruner’s home and pursued Bruner’s wife, Elizabeth, through the house. Holloway, who lived about a mile away, had crashed through or broken windows at three other houses in the neighborhood before reaching the Bruners’ home in the 6800 block of Andasol Avenue. He did not know the family.

Detectives on Monday interviewed three of Holloway’s high school friends with whom he had spent time on Friday night before the rampage. His friends told the detectives that when Holloway arrived at the get-together, he was already slightly incoherent from LSD that he had taken earlier.

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“His friends said he had gone to a rock concert and obtained some drugs at the concert,” Detective Rick Swanston said. “He told his friends it was LSD.”

But Holloway’s mother-in-law, Mary Metcalf, disputed that account, saying Holloway had been at her house, where he lived with his wife of four years and his 2-year-old daughter, until 7:30 p.m. She said he went straight to his friend’s house.

“He was killed at 10:30. He didn’t go to any concert. He didn’t have time to do all that stuff,” she said. “That’s a lie.”

Metcalf said Holloway--an Army veteran who was stationed in Germany for much of his four-year military tenure--was coherent when he left her house to go to his friend’s that night, and had said nothing about attending a concert.

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Holloway’s friends told police they believed that the band he had seen was called the Purple Turtles, but police Monday had not been able to determine where or when the concert occurred.

Police and Holloway’s mother-in-law said they do not believe Holloway took the drug against his will or unknowingly.

“The indications are that he took the drugs himself,” Swanston said. “It doesn’t appear that he was forced to take the drugs or that someone stuck him with a needle or anything. He took the drugs of his own free will.”

Although Metcalf said her son-in-law had experimented with LSD while stationed overseas, he had not used drugs during the nine months that he and his family lived with her. “This was not something my son-in-law normally did,” she said.

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Because Holloway seemed impervious to pain while crashing through windows and plate-glass doors in the Reseda neighborhood, investigators immediately suspected that he was under the influence of drugs, possibly PCP, a hallucinogen that gives its users temporary bursts of fearsome strength.

LSD, used in the study of schizophrenia and other mental disorders, can cause users to suffer hallucinations and delusions.

While roaming through the Reseda neighborhood before his death, Holloway repeatedly asked for Amber, the name of his daughter.

Metcalf said she believed that her son-in-law was trying to find his way to her house, just a few blocks away.

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Police, however, have said the shooting was justifiable as self-defense, though they will present the case to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for review later this week.


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