A Hollywood social justice advocate was shot and killed inside his Los Angeles home by a suspect who targetted him because he was a friend of a film director she was accused of stalking, say officials.
Michael Latt, a 33-year-old movie marketing consultant, died on Monday after the female suspect entered his home and reportedly shot him in the head.
Authorities say that officers arrested Jameelah Elena Michl, 36, who lives in her car and prosecutors have charged her with murder and burglary.
“Michl allegedly went to the victim’s residence on the 900 block of Alandele Avenue after she targeted him for being friends with a woman she had been stalking,” the district attorney’s office said in a statement on Thursday.
“She allegedly knocked on the door, forcing herself into the residence once it was opened by one of the occupants.
“Michl, who was allegedly armed with a semi-automatic handgun, shot and killed the victim inside of the home.”
Court documents show that the suspect previously had a restraining order taken out against her by film director AV Rockwell, according to The Los Angeles Times.
Court filings from June state that Ms Michl had worked as an extra in her movie A Thousand and One, and after production on the movie ended she allegedly began to stalk Ms Rockwell.
The director stated in court papers that when she did not pursue a personal relationship with Ms Michl, the suspect delivered hand-written letters to her home threatening to harm herself.
“My Glock is loaded as I write this,” said one letter, according to the newspaper. “One pull of the trigger and I’ll be free.”
The suspect was taken into custody after the shooting in the 900 block of Alandele Avenue in the Mid-City area of the city and is being held on $3m bail.
Prosecutors have not revealed the identity of the woman the suspect was stalking, or her connection to the victim.
“As we mourn the loss of this bright soul, let us come together as a community to denounce violence and recommit ourselves to the principles of justice, equality, and compassion,” district attorney George Gascón said in a statement.
“The pursuit of equity in the criminal legal system remains a steadfast goal, and we will continue our efforts to create a society where every individual is treated with dignity and fairness.”
Latt was the founder and CEO of Lead With Love, a marketing firm he founded to elevate Black and other underrepresented creatives in Hollywood.
During his career, he oversaw marketing campaigns with the likes of musician Common and movie director Ryan Coogler.
His family shared news of the killing on Latt’s Instagram account.
“Our family, Michael’s extraordinary friends and colleagues are shattered by the profound grief of losing our Michael,” they wrote.
“Michael will never be forgotten and we can all carry on his legacy of love, compassion and fierce dedication to positive and lasting change.”
Latt’s mother, Michelle Satter, is an executive with the Sundance Film Festival and is being given the Academy Awards’ Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in January. His father, David Latt, is a film producer.
Franklin Leonard, founder of the Black List, paid tribute to Latt on X.
“I cannot even begin to express what we’ve lost with Michael Latt’s murder,” he wrote. “He was the absolute best of us. Rest in Power, my friend.”
Latt was a communications consultant for Ava DuVernay’s ARRAY Now, and the marketing director for Blackout for Human Rights, which Coogler founded to speak out on police killings.