An intruder made it to the second floor of L.A. Mayor Bass' home: Here's what we know

Los Angeles, CA - April 22: Police patrol Getty House, the official residence of the Mayor Karen Bass, where a man was taken into custody for allegedly smashing a glass door and breaking into her home on Monday, April 22, 2024 in Los Angeles, CA. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)
Police on Monday patrol Getty House, the official residence of Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass, where a man was taken into custody following a break-in at her home. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

There are still some unanswered questions about the intruder who police say broke into Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass' official residence Sunday.

No one was hurt in the incident, and police arrested Ephraim Hunter, 29. A motive for the break-in remains unclear. L.A. County prosecutors are reviewing the case.

Here is what we know:

Security cameras are positioned outside Getty House.
Security cameras are positioned outside Getty House, the official residence of L.A. Mayor Karen Bass. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

The break-in

On Sunday afternoon, officials offered sparse details about the incident, announcing only that an arrest had been made.

“This morning at about 6:40 a.m., an intruder broke into Getty House through a window. Mayor Bass and her family were not injured and are safe,” Zach Seidl, deputy mayor of communications, said in a statement.

Neither Bass nor the Los Angeles Police Department have provided additional details.

Read more: Suspect in break-in at Mayor Bass' home previously convicted of assault

Two law enforcement sources who requested anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case with the media told The Times that Hunter made it to the second floor of the home, causing Bass to hide in a safe area designed to protect against intruders, akin to a panic room.

Hunter was arrested without incident, according to police, who said nothing had been stolen.

The suspect

Hunter, an L.A. resident, was booked on suspicion of burglary Sunday afternoon, police said. No charges have been filed.

In a phone interview Monday, a woman who identified herself as Hunter’s mother said he had been struggling with drug addiction and possibly suffering from hallucinations.

Josephine Duah said Hunter called her from jail Monday morning and claimed he was fleeing from someone “trying to shoot him.” Her son had no idea whose house he’d entered the previous day, she said.

“He didn’t know that at all,” Duah said. “He just was running. ... He thought somebody was chasing him and he hopped some fences and he went in the house. … I’m wondering if, mentally, he was relieved if he saw police.”

Read more: Suspect arrested in break-in at home of L.A. Mayor Karen Bass

Getty House

The imposing residence is located in Windsor Square, one of L.A.'s more tony neighborhoods.

One of the perks of being elected mayor is the right to live in the house, which has 14 rooms and seven bathrooms.

An exterior view of Getty House, the L.A. mayor's official residence.
An exterior view of Getty House, the L.A. mayor's official residence. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The house, which was donated to the city by Getty Oil Co. in 1975, is fitted with expensive objects, including a $25,000 chandelier, The Times reported in 2005.

Built by Swedish immigrants in 1921, it has been home to oil tycoons and actors, including J. Paul Getty, the Barrymore family and Lee Strasberg.


Security at the residences has been a topic of debate.

In 2020, it was the site of numerous protests over policing policies in the wake of George Floyd's murder by Minneapolis police. Other protests at the mayor's home have demanded that the city impose a blanket ban on evictions, cancel rents and take over hotels to house homeless people.

Officials did not disclose security arrangements at Getty House.

One LAPD source, not authorized to speak publicly about the case, said that in the wake of the break-in, a 24-hour security operation is now in place at Getty House, with police maintaining a visible presence in the area.

Bass on Monday declined to speak at length about the incident: “Let me just say first of all, I am fine. My family is fine. And we are going to do everything we can to keep Angelenos safe."

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.