Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Metallica’s Robert Trujillo Recalls Run-In With Manson Family During 1971 Police Shootout

Metallica’s Robert Trujillo Recalls Run-In With Manson Family During 1971 Police Shootout

A little over 50 years after Robert Trujillo had the most terrifying encounter with the Manson Family, the Metallica bassist is opening up about the infamous incident. 

During an appearance on the Time to Relax With The Offsprings, Trujillo spoke about being in the middle of the 1971 shootout between police and the members of Charles Manson’s gang. “Long story short… Charlie Manson just had gotten arrested,” the musician explained. “And [I’m in] Hawthorne, California, I’m staying at my grandma’s house. The army surplus shop there around the corner on Hawthorne Boulevard was robbed.” 

Robert Trujillo went on to explain that the Manson family had pulled this grand scheme where they robbed the gun store, took some guns and ammo, and were getting ready to LAX airport. “They were going to go to LAX and their plan was to hijack a 747 and demand that Charlie gets sent to them,” Trujillo continued. “And they’re going to take this plane to God knows where. This is what they were thinking.” 

However, the police ended up thwarting the group’s plans, causing a big shootout. Trujillo revealed how he escaped without any injuries. “All of a sudden you get the [police helicopters] and they’re flying around. They’re talking through their intercom, whatever they got going up there: ‘Everybody, take cover’… And so my dad turns off all the lights.”

Robert Trujillo & His Family Hid in a Shower During the 1971 Shootout Between the Police and Manson Family 

As he continued to discuss his scary situation during the 1971 shoot between the police and the Manson family, Robert Trujillo said that he and his family ended up hiding in a shower during the incident. 

“We’re hiding in the shower,”  Trujillo detailed. “And it was really eerie. It was kind of like that scene in Close Encounters [of the Third Kind] where you see the light come through the windows, My dad, at one point, opened the door to see what was going on. [He said] ‘Get the f— back in the house, now.’”

Robert Trujillo then revealed that one of the infamous gang members ended up hiding in the carport that his grandparents owned. He said that luckily, the laundry room was in a separate area from the unit. Otherwise, the gang member would have gone through a window to the house, causing a hostage situation. 

The day after the situation, Trujillo said he and his cousins were searching for bullets around the house. 

The Manson family members involved in the shootout were Mary Brunner, Catherine “Gypsy” Share, Dennis Rice, Charles Lovett, Larry Bailey, and Kenneth Como. Brunner and Share ended up injured during the incident. Police revealed at the time that the gang had stacked 100 weapons inside a nearby van and were binding around 40 more with tape. Three of the members opened fire and riddled Lieut. Jim Covic’s car with bullets as he called for backup. Police officers from El Segundo, Redondo Beach, and Lennox responded.