A 31-year-old suspect was arrested Monday for the murders of three people in West Hollywood. The murders occurred at an apartment in the 600 block of North Kings Road on August 26.
Harold Yong Park, a resident of East Hollywood, was taken into custody around 11:15am in the 26200 block of S. Western Ave. Detectives identified Park through witnesses near the murder scene, information provided in interviews with people who knew the victims, as well as physical evidence. Investigators obtained the license plate of a vehicle that was registered to Park and sent out a wanted bulletin to law enforcement agencies throughout the region. A patrol deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Lomita Station located Park using an automated license plate system that identified Park’s vehicle. He was taken into custody without incident, according to Lt. Pat Nelson, with the sheriff’s department’s Homicide Bureau.
Nelson said Park knew the three murder victims but declined to elaborate, and said the motive was robbery. The victims, Pirooz Moussazadeh, 27, his brother Shahriar Moussazadeh, 38, and Bernard Khalili, 27, were allegedly involved in illegal marijuana sales, and Park allegedly killed them while stealing a large amount of marijuana from the brothers’ apartment, Nelson said. Approximately four to five pounds of the drug that are believed to have been taken from the apartment in West Hollywood were recovered from Park’s vehicle when he was arrested, Nelson added.
“We had several different sources tell us that the victims in the case would purchase the marijuana from medical marijuana dispensaries and then resell it to other dispensaries or private entities,” Nelson said. “Apparently these deals were in the tens of thousands of dollars.”
Neighbors reported hearing gunshots in the apartment around 9:15 p.m. on August 26, and deputies from the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station arrived and found the three men dead. Nelson said the Moussazadeh brothers lived at the apartment with their elderly parents, who were not home at the time of the murders. Nelson said there was no sign of forced entry or a struggle, and investigators believe the victims let Park inside. Park is also believed to have acted alone. The murder weapon has not been located, Nelson added.
The victims had lived at the apartment for the past couple of years, but Nelson said he did not have any more information about their backgrounds. Nelson said the murders are indicative of the danger that is involved with drug sales, and added that he has seen an increase in violent crimes tied to medical marijuana.
“It’s certainly illustrative of the type of violence that is going in relation to drug dealing. With medical marijuana, it seems like a lot of it is done in the shade, so to speak, and there is a lot of money changing hands,” Nelson said. “We had three people murdered in South Los Angeles a couple of months ago in an incident related to marijuana sales. I wholeheartedly believe the presence of large quantities of controlled substances leads to this type of violence.”
Nelson added that the sheriff’s department devoted a significant amount of resources to solving the case, and credited the detectives for identifying a suspect so quickly. He also credited the automated license plate system that identified Park’s vehicle as being a major factor in the arrest.
Formal charges are expected to be filed either late Tuesday or Wednesday. Park is being held in custody without bail.
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