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James Howe, Director of TV Reality Shows, Murdered in Home Invasion

By Michael Mullins   |   Tuesday, 10 Dec 2013 07:38 AM

James Marcus Howe, a reality TV show director who assisted on reality shows such as "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila," "America's Next Top Model," and "Cake Boss: Next Great Baker," was murdered in a home invasion. His wife was shot and wounded.

Howe was reportedly shot to death after engaging in a brief struggle with two men and a woman posing as solicitors who forced their way into this Los Angeles home.

The incident just now making headlines took place the day before Thanksgiving, between 10 and 11 a.m. PST.

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According to the Los Angeles Times, one of the two men pulled a handgun on the unsuspecting reality TV director. After Howe was subdued, the gun was then turned on his wife, who was also shot and remains hospitalized, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The three assailants fled the scene before police arrived. The couple's preschool age child was reportedly in the house when the home invasion murder occurred but was not harmed.

According to police, Howe was the victim of a random act of violence and had no connection with the assailants.

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

Perez added that witnesses saw the suspects flee in a dark Mustang. Police are still searching for the individuals.

Authorities were quick to clarify that there were no racial motivations behind the killings, considering the neighborhood is reportedly rife with violence between Latinos and African-Americans, and that both Howe and his killers were black.

At the time of the shooting, neighbors reportedly believed the gunshots were firecrackers or home repairs.

"I was in denial thinking it wasn't shots," 71-year-old neighbor Joy Brooks told the Los Angeles Times, having recalled hearing three bangs in the late morning. "Thought it was hammering or banging. I thought it was my neighbor."

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Rick Coca, a spokesman for Councilman Jose Huizar who represents the district, weighed into the killings describing them as a "brazen attack...that devastated a community and family."

"This is a nice community," Coca said. "Some people get desensitized to these events when they happen, but we in this area do not."

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