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Man Wounded in Wilshire Office Shooting

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Some workers at a Wilshire Boulevard high-rise were evacuated and others hid in locked offices Monday after an independent contractor shot a mortgage company employee in the leg, Los Angeles police said.

Eighth-floor office workers were evacuated from the Wilshire Serrano building as police searched suites and storerooms for the gunman who fled after the 10 a.m. shooting at California Mortgage Bankers & Associates.

The suspect managed to flee the 12-story building at 3699 W. Wilshire Blvd. as officers raced to the scene, police said.

The victim, identified as 47-year-old Otto Randle of Los Angeles, was treated at a hospital, said police Sgt. John Kielbasa.

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The suspect--who has not been identified--is an independent contractor who works with the mortgage company, authorities said.

“It was a business dispute,” said police Det. Raymond Futami. “I don’t know how complex this case is going to turn out to be.”

Office workers said one gunshot was heard before a bleeding Randle staggered into a hallway and told building maintenance man Joe Munoz that he had been shot.

Dana Inouye, a secretary in the building’s management office, said Munoz helped the victim into her eighth-floor office, where she called police and paramedics.

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Employees of the mortgage company and workers at a law firm’s accounting office were evacuated during the nearly 90-minute search of the eighth floor, according to witnesses.

Workers on the ninth floor were told to lock their doors and stay inside, said Joanne Metcalf, a legal assistant for a law firm.

Other workers learned details of the search and the partial evacuation from radio newscasts.

“No one came to evacuate us--and we were getting a little nervous,” said Vivian Chin, a legal secretary who works on the ninth floor.

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Employees spent much of Monday afternoon out of the office being interviewed by police, said a company worker brought in to answer office phones. The office was later closed temporarily.


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