Former Nickelodeon star recalls stalker who set himself on fire and fatally shot himself in her front yard

Former Nickelodeon star Miranda Cosgrove reflected on a terrifying experience she had with a stalker that traumatizes her eight years later.

In 2016, a man who was stalking the “iCarly” alum, 30, lit himself on fire and fatally shot himself in the front yard of her Los Angeles home. Prior to his death by suicide, the man shot at a woman driving by Cosgrove’s house who he mistook for the actress.

During an interview with Bustle, Cosgrove, who still lives at the home where the incident occurred, acknowledged she still doesn’t feel entirely comfortable staying there.

“That’s another reason why I go back and forth to my parents’ house so much,” Cosgrove told the outlet. “I just don’t feel super safe in that house.

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“For two years after it happened, I wouldn’t really stay there. Then I got into a relationship and because that person was there with me, I was less scared. But I don’t really like being there on my own that much.”

While attending an event for Kitten Rescue LA years later, Cosgrove recalled meeting the woman who was mistakenly targeted by the stalker.

“This girl came up to me, and she was like, ‘I didn’t know if I should tell you this here or how to say this, but I’m actually the girl that was at your house that got shot at,’” Cosgrove told Bustle.

“She seemed like she processes things in a similar way that I do.”

Cosgrove told Bustle she still enjoyed watching Richard Gadd’s hit Netflix show “Baby Reindeer,” which is based on his own real-life ordeal with a stalker.

“I didn’t think about it very much,” she said, referring to the 2016 incident. 

Cosgrove praised Gadd for being able to dramatize his traumatic experiences on screen.

“I feel like if that were me, having to go back through your most terrible experiences and then try to act them [out], that’d be so hard,” Cosgrove told Bustle.

After turning 30, Cosgrove told Bustle a “huge goal” for her was “to find a place that I feel really safe, to kind of start a new chapter.” However, Cosgrove said she has yet to find it.

Cosgrove previously opened up about her experience with the stalker during a 2020 appearance on Whitney Cummings’ “Good For You” podcast.

The Daytime Emmy Award winner recalled that she decided to spend the night at her parents’ home after a bad date when the police called at 3 a.m. to inform her someone had died at her house.

“It was the weirdest thing ever because they had caution tape up. It was right in my front yard,” Cosgrove recalled.

“Basically, I guess a guy came and he was burying things in my backyard for three days. He buried a lunchbox with milk chocolate inside of it in my backyard, and then he buried knives and a rope and a bunch of random stuff.”

The actress noted that she hadn’t noticed the man in her yard while she was there. She later learned the stalker had been pacing around her yard with a gun.

 

After checking her security cameras, she and the police discovered the man had been waiting around on her property for six hours before killing himself. 

“And then somebody drove up that had a similar car that kind of looks like my car and I guess he got confused, and he thought that maybe it was me driving up,” she said, referring to the woman who she later met. 

“He shot at this person six times, and he missed because she was in a car. She drove away.”

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Cosgrove told Cummings police still haven’t determined a motive for the man’s actions.

“It might have just been totally random, like he saw me somewhere, and he followed me home or something like that. But they never figured out exactly why,” she said.

“It freaked me out really bad,” the “Mother of the Bride” star admitted. “And I started staying, like, back in my parents’ house.

“It was really bizarre. I have a fantasy of diving into the story and figuring out exactly why it all happened just because I think it’d be interesting to know who the person was, why they were there and exactly what was going on.

“I don’t know if that’d make it worse or if that’d make it better, but it just seems like it’d be interesting to have more answers.” 


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