updated 11/3/2003 5:23:29 AM ET 2003-11-03T10:23:29

A lawyer who survived a gunman’s attack that was captured on videotape said he hadn’t met the suspect before the assault and feels fortunate to be alive. The shooting on Friday was captured by television crews gathered to cover a hearing in the murder case against actor Robert Blake.

GERRY CURRY, 53, was released Sunday from a hospital after being shot at close range in the arm and neck by a man identified by police as William Strier, 64.

Dramatic television footage from crews covering Robert Blake’s murder case Friday showed Curry, of Simi Valley, trying to hide behind a tree as Strier fired a revolver outside the Van Nuys courthouse.

“It’s weird. It’s the kind of thing that always happens to someone else,” Curry said. “This is the thing you see on TV, but this time it happened to me. But the main thing is that I survived, so I’m very grateful.”

After the attack, Curry staggered from behind the tree, blood on his face, and held up his hands before collapsing. An off-duty sheriff’s reserve officer tackled Strier.

Strier was arrested, booked for investigation of attempted murder and was being held on $1 million bail. He was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

With scars on his face and his arm in a sling, Curry told reporters that he had never met Strier before, but had heard about prior threats.

“A man walked up to me and said ‘Are you Mr. Curry?’ and I said, ’Yes, who are you?’ and then he just shot me,” Curry said. “I didn’t even see the gun. I heard a pop and I knew I’d been shot because the blood spattered up in my face.”

Court documents show Strier was involved in a dispute in which he alleged a trustee appointed by the court to manage his trust fund was withholding money he needed for medical care. The fund was established with money Strier received in an injury settlement.

Dramatic television footage showed Curry hiding behind a tree as Strier fired a revolver at him several times.

“At first I thought it was a joke because there was no smoke,” said Steve Grayson, a still photographer. “But the shots were really, really loud. It was very scary.”

Curry staggered from behind the tree, bleeding from the face, and held up his hands before collapsing in the street.

Strier, a heavyset man with graying hair and glasses, calmly walked by stunned reporters before an off-duty sheriff’s reserve officer tackled him.

Strier was arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon, Los Angeles police Capt. Jim Miller said.

The shooting underscored the need for tighter security inside and outside the courthouse, said Allan Parachini, a Superior Court spokesman.

Police said the attack was not connected to the Blake hearing, which ended a short time after the shooting. Blake had been escorted down the same walkway 30 minutes before the shooting.

© 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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