Detectives investigating the murders of three members of the same family in the Little Armenia District of Hollywood said there is nothing to connect the crimes to the murders of four Armenian men shot to death in a North Hollywood restaurant on April 3.
Det. Dan Myers, of the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division, said investigators have looked into the possibility that the crimes were connected, but found no evidence linking the incidents.
“At this point, the only thing that is similar is the nationality of the victims,” Myers said. “Obviously, we are keeping our eye on the investigation in North Hollywood, and we haven’t ruled anything out, but we don’t have anything connecting the two.”
Myers said the investigations into both crimes are in the early stages. The four men who were killed at the Hot Spot Café at 11651 Riverside Dr. had been dining in the restaurant when a suspect walked up and began shooting. Three people died at the scene, and a fourth died later at the hospital. Two other victims were also shot and remain hospitalized, one in critical condition. The deceased victims were identified as Sarkis Karadjian, 26; Harut Baburyan, 28; Vardan Tofalyan, 31; and Hayk Yegnanyan, 25. The names of the injured victims have not been released. News reports indicated that the group had attended a funeral earlier in the day and then had gone to the Hot Spot Café, but Myers said the group had attended a memorial service for a victim who died a year earlier in a vehicular accident. There were additional people at the restaurant at the time of the shooting, but some fled, and others gave police conflicting accounts of what occurred. Investigators have said the shooting was not random, but have not announced a motive or whether the shooting is gang related. The suspect was only described as an Armenian man who was approximately 30 years old. Myers said officials are working with other agencies to gather information, but added that no official task force has been formed.
”We have reached out to anyone who has been working in the area, dealing with Armenian criminal enterprises,” Myers said. “Obviously, we are looking at all possible theories.”
Myers, who is one of the lead detectives in the Hollywood murders, said no new information is being made public. Karine Hakobyan, 38, was found dead in the driver’s seat of her Honda CR-V outside her apartment in the 5800 block of Lexington Avenue on March 26. Hakobyan was found by her daughter, who had also discovered her father and eight-year-old sister murdered in the family’s apartment in the 1200 block of Tamarind Avenue in December 2008. The victims in that case were identified a Khachik Safaryan, 43, and his daughter Lusine. Investigators are reportedly looking into a soured relationship the father had with an unidentified person.
“We are still in the process of gathering information and analyzing any physical evidence that may exist,” Myers said. “We are also hoping that anyone who may have seen something will come forward.”
Myers added that the date for Hakobyan’s funeral has not yet been set because the family is waiting for relatives to arrive from Armenia. He said the surviving daughter is staying with family members, and that her security “has been addressed.”
Anyone with information about the murders in Hollywood is asked to contact Det. Dan Myers or Michael Whelan at (213)486-6850. Anyone with information about the North Hollywood murders is asked to contact Robbery Homicide Division detectives at (213)486-6850. During weekends and off-hours, call the LAPD’s 24-hour, toll-free hotline at (877)LAPD-24-7.
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