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Then & Now: Gerald Curry
Gerald Curry still practices law in southern California, and passes the location of his attack often.



Robert Blake

(CNN) -- In a dramatic sideshow to the Robert Blake murder case two years ago, attorney Gerald Curry was repeatedly shot outside a California courthouse by a man allegedly angry over a probate case. Curry took refuge behind a tree but was seriously wounded.

Today, the attorney has fully recovered from bullet wounds to his neck, arms and shoulder and practices law in Southern California.

"Normally you read about these things happening to other people," Curry told CNN. "In this case obviously, it happened to me. And I think when they do occur you have to sort of keep it in perspective that the odds of this happening were one in a million."

The October 31, 2003, attack was captured by TV crews camping outside the Van Nuys, California, courthouse awaiting a judge's ruling in the Blake case. The former "Baretta" star was facing murder charges in his wife's death but was later acquitted. Curry's shooting was unrelated to the Blake case.

It was shortly after 10 that morning when Curry left the courthouse.

The attorney said he was headed to a parking garage when an older man he didn't recognize approached him and asked his name. Authorities later identified the accused attacker as William Strier.

"And then he just shot me," Curry said. "I didn't even see a gun; I just heard a very loud pop, and I knew that I'd been shot. I think the blood ... seemed to spatter up, and I turned away and went to the ground to try to scramble away from him. I went down on all fours ... and then as I got up to run ... I saw a tree, and I thought, well if I go behind the tree, you know then hopefully the tree can help protect me."

But the gunman followed the attorney and continued to shoot at him even as Curry bobbed and weaved around a tree trunk in an attempt to survive the attack.

"Finally I heard a click, click, click. I was relieved because I realized that he was out of bullets at that point so I thought, thank God I'm alive, and he's out of bullets," Curry said. "So at that point then, he just kind of calmly walked away."

Following the attack, Curry stepped out from behind the tree with a bloodied face and neck and held up his hands to get help. He said a deputy told him to lie down on the ground, and then the deputy put his hand over Curry's neck to try to stop the bleeding before an ambulance arrived. "I was concerned about bleeding to death," Curry said.

An off-duty sheriff's reserve officer tackled the gunman and took him into custody.

Curry said that "I found out later he had another gun that was loaded, but fortunately he didn't try to use the other gun."

Strier, then 64, was arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder.

Strier was never his client, Curry told CNN. "My client was a professional trustee ... who administered a trust for him [Strier]," he said.

Strier initially was found to be mentally incompetent to stand trial, but in July 2005, he was found mentally competent in a preliminary hearing, and he is scheduled to stand trial in November, according to a Los Angeles County Superior Court clerk in Van Nuys.

Curry said he doesn't hold a grudge against his attacker.

"I'd like to think of myself as a positive person who looks forward," Curry said "and I realize that in the world there are some people that have ... their own problems. ... I don't have any ill will or harbor any bad feelings toward Mr. Strier."

Nevertheless, Curry said he believes the man came close to killing him and should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The lawyer said he is grateful to be 100 percent healed after five bullets hit him that day.

While he admits to being a little more cautious, especially around the office, Curry is back doing what he did the day he was shot -- practicing estate planning and probate law.

He also said he enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.

"I try not to let it affect my life, try not have any bitterness," Curry said. "I try to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook on my life even though this happened to me. ... It was fortunate in the sense that I'm OK, so I'm grateful for that."

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