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A suspect identified as Alberd Tersargyan has been charged with murder for allegedly shooting a woman in Hollywood’s Little Armenia District on March 26 as she sat in her car outside her apartment in the 5800 block of Lexington Avenue. The victim, 38-year-old Karine Hakobyan, was the wife and mother of two victims also found shot to death in an apartment a couple of blocks away in December 2008.
Det. Michael Whelan, with the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Bureau, said Tersargyan is being investigated in connection with all three murders, but so far, charges have only been filed in the murder of Hakobyan.
“[Alberd Tersargyan] is the guy we are looking at,” Whelan said.
Whelan declined to discuss a motive in the case or any other details, but officials have indicated that Tersargyan may have been obsessed with the 38-year-old victim and had been stalking her. Whelan described Tersargyan as a family friend of all of the victims. He said the suspect lives in Hollywood, and was arrested on April 21 after officials contacted him at his residence and he met with investigators to discuss the case. Police have recovered a handgun. Whelan also said there is a discrepancy in Tersargyan’s age. The suspect has indicated he is 73-years-old, but Whelan said investigators believe he is approximately 60.
Tersargyan has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and is being held in custody without bail. He will be arraigned on May 6. Prosecutors have also charged Tersargyan with the special allegation of lying in wait, according to Jane Robison, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Hakobyan, who was shot once in the back of the head, was found by her 14-year-old daughter. The same daughter also found the bodies of her father, Khachik Safaryan, and her eight-year-old sister, Lusine, in their apartment in the 1200 block of Tamarind Avenue 16 months earlier. Safaryan and his family reportedly immigrated to the United States in 2003, and settled in Hollywood’s Little Armenia District. Safaryan had worked as a butcher, and Hakobyan worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Police said previously that the daughter was staying with family and friends, and officials have been taking steps to ensure her safety.
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