A 21-year-old suspect who was convicted in September of murdering a clerk and shooting a cashier at the Limelite Liquor store in Hollywood in 2007 was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Rodney Bourgeois, who police identified as a gang member with a lengthy criminal history, had been convicted of first-degree murder, with the special circumstances of murder during the attempted commission of a robbery and during the commission of a burglary. Bourgeois also was convicted of one count each of attempted murder, attempted robbery and commercial burglary. Jurors additionally found Bourgeois guilty of the special allegations of personal use of a firearm, personal discharge of a firearm and personal and intentional discharge of a firearm.
The incident occurred on July 19, 2007 at the Limelite Liquor store located in the 1600 block of La Brea Avenue. Bourgeois entered the store posing as a customer, and initially brought a bottle of milk to the sales counter and inquired about its price. He then returned the milk to the cooler in the back of the store and confronted store clerk Pulod “Peter” Davlatnazarov at gunpoint. Bourgeois held a gun to Davlatnazarov’s head and forced him to walk to the front of the store, where Bourgeois demanded money from the cashier. When the cashier activated a silent alarm, Bourgeois shot Davlatnazarov in the back of the head, killing him instantly. Bourgeois then shot the cashier in the stomach and fled. No cash was stolen. The cashier, Vladamir Akkerman, was seriously injured but survived the incident.
The murder and attempted robbery sparked outrage in the local community, and Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge, 4th District, initiated a $50,000 reward. Police were able to solve the case using surveillance camera footage that showed Bourgeois committing the crime, and DNA evidence that Bourgeois left at the scene.
“It was a sad tragedy at the Limelite liquor, but justice has been served,” LaBonge added.
Davlatnazarov was an immigrant from the former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan, and had only been in the United States for nine months when he was murdered. Davlatnazarov reportedly worked multiple jobs, and planned to later bring his family to the U.S.
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