Police searched Wednesday for a porn actor suspected of killing one colleague and injuring two others with a sword that was used as a movie prop at a production studio where the suspect had been living.
Steven Hill, 30, attacked his colleagues during a small social gathering late Tuesday at Ultima DVD Inc.'s distribution and production center in Van Nuys, Los Angeles police Detective Joel Price said.
Hill had been told a week earlier to leave the studio by Wednesday.
"There was no indication that things were going to get violent, there was nothing that provoked this attack, but at some point Steven chose to arm himself with what can be best described as a sword," Price said. "He then used that sword against those three victims."
Hill attacked one man near the back on the facility and turned on two others when they tried to intervene, police said. A 30-year-old man who tried to help suffered a stab wound to the torso and died at a hospital. The other two victims were expected to survive.
Hill fled in an SUV with the weapon, one of several swords at the site, Price said.
Hill appeared in some of Ultima's films and had worked on its website, but Price believed the studio severed its business ties with Hill when he was told to leave the production facility.
Hill was currently on probation in connection with an unrelated charge of carrying a concealed weapon, said Price, who had no other details about that case.
The names of the victims were not released. Price said they were not established porn stars.
Eric Jover, who is listed as Ultima's contact on public documents, did not respond to phone and e-mail messages seeking comment.
Hill had lived for several months in a section of the production facility that appeared to double as an adult movie set. A witness to the attack also lived in the building, sleeping in a studio furnished as a bedroom.
The building, resembling a small storage unit, is located in a nondescript industrial park on the edge of Van Nuys Airport in the city's San Fernando Valley. The region is known as porn valley in the adult film industry because it serves as headquarters for numerous porn purveyors.
Police found a dried pool of blood near one of the building's doors as well as several drops of blood leading toward a row of parking spaces.
Steve Nelson, editor-in-chief of Adult Industry News, said he had met Hill at social gatherings.
"He seemed like an OK guy who was trying very hard to get recognized and get his name out there," Nelson said. "He carried around pictures of himself in hard-core action, and he would always want to show them to me."
Nelson said Hill appeared in films under the name Steve Driver. The Internet Adult Film Database lists 13 credits for him, including films for Ultima and other companies.
Websites indicate Ultima specializes in niche films that include fetishes and scenes of women sexually abusing men.