Investigators on Wednesday night believed a Los Feliz woman who was found dead inside her home was murdered by a man who rented a room from her. The body of the suspect was found in a nearby driveway. Neighbors say they were also attacked by the man, who they say appeared to be "on something." Kim Baldonado reports from Los Feliz for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sept. 26, 2012.
Authorities on Wednesday night said a Los Feliz woman in her 70s may have been killed earlier that day by a man who rented a room from her.
Investigators believe the suspect, between 20 and 30 years old, then ran outside and up the stairs of his next door neighbor, where he encountered a man painting the house of former NBC News network correspondent Dan Blackburn.
Blackburn confirmed what his neighbor told NBC4 News what happened next.
"The suspect came up with a piece of wood and started to hit the painter and then he attacked his wife Gloria and then Dan came out and the guy whacked him,” recalled neighbor Wylie Drummond.
Blackburn says he managed to get his wife and the painter inside the house and slammed the door on the suspect’s arm as he tried to break through.
The suspect, who Blackburn described as being "wired on something," then leaped to a deck next door, jumped over two fences, climbed up to a roof and either jumped or fell to his death.
Detectives said they will release more information Thursday.
Police received a call of a "screaming woman" at 10:40 a.m. in the 3600 block of Lowry Road, said Los Angeles Police Lt. Andy Neiman, a department spokesman.
"A horrible scream, not help or oohing, just a scream," recalled Nora Natarajan, neighbor.
The woman was the victim of a homicide, police said, but did not say how she was killed.
The man was found dead in the driveway of the home, police said.
"It appears that some type of altercation happened inside the house resulting in the death of the woman, then the individual ran outside, had an altercation with neighbors and by the time we arrived had fallen or somehow died on the driveway," said LAPD Commander Andrew Smith.
Police say the female victim had been renting rooms in her home to a half-dozen people.
"It's possible he was one of the people renting that room, but that's preliminary so I can't say that for sure," Smith said.
Neighbors who spoke with NBC4 called some of those renters "shady," and claimed to have complained about them to the owner in the past.
A property records check lists the location as a room rental business called Home Solutions Real Estate.