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Man opened fire at workers repossessing SUV

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  • Man opened fire at workers repossessing SUV

    Joshua Cerny holds down two jobs but it was the night job as a repossession agent that nearly cost him his life.

    "He was definitely there to kill me," Cerny said. "There were no ifs, ands, or buts about it."
    Norman Edward Gilliam Jr., 43, is facing charges of attempted murder for firing at Cerny and coworker Ridge Kaylon Carr Crewss who were reposessing Gilliam's vehicle, Hollywood police said.

    Gilliam and his wife Mireya got into an argument with the two men demanding that they release his Hyundai Santa Fe from their tow truck at 1874 N. Young Circle on Sunday afternoon, according to the arrest report filed in the case.
    Norman Gilliam attempted to untie the straps that fastened the SUV to the tow truck despite Cerny and Crewss' repeated requests to stop and wait until police arrived, the report stated.
    "There's always one or two people that get upset but not like that," said Cerny, 26.
    The argument escalated and both men got into the cab of the tow truck where they ignored Gilliam while waiting for police, investigators said.
    When Gilliam pulled out a handgun and started firing shots into the truck, the men crouched down in their seats, police said.
    "He put the gun to the window and I had to lean my head back and the bullet came through that window and exited out the windshield," Cerny said.
    He stepped on the gas to get away, but the truck swerved to the right to avoid hitting the median in the 1900 block of Hollywood Boulevard and the Hyundai flipped off the truck, police said.
    The men ran for cover and Gilliam ran off too, but was later caught by officers who also recovered a handgun from a garbage can and two magazines of ammunition in front of 1890 Tyler St., police said.
    Investigators said they found two bullet holes in the driver's side door of the tow truck and a bullet hole through the driver's side window and the windshield.
    "If I was sitting in the seat instead of under the steering wheel I would've been hit and I wouldn't be here right now," Cerny said. "Definitely would have been a head shot."
    Three witnesses told police that the two tow truck employees, who work for the business Final Notice Agency, were respectful and polite, but they said both Norman and Mireya Gilliam were very belligerant and refused to reason with the men, according to detectives.
    Cerny and his partner were not seriously hurt, but Cerny said he's still shaken up by the experience.
    "I still got a little fear in me," he said. "The first night I couldn't really get some sleep because I just kept remembering the [gunshot] flash in my face."
    Norman Gilliam was being held without bond, jail records showed. There were no charges filed against his wife as of Wednesday.