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Police investigate NoHo shooting massacre

April 5, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police continued their investigation Monday into a shooting rampage that killed four men and wounded two others inside a Valley Village restaurant over the weekend.According to police, the victims appear to have been targeted.

At least 17 bullets were fired at the Hot Spot Mediterranean Cafe on Saturday at 4:40 a.m. Four young men of Armenian descent were killed. Two other people were wounded, but are expected to survive.

The four men killed have been identified as 31-year-old Vardan Tofalyan, 28-year-old Harut Baburyan, 26-year-old Sarkis Karadjian, and 25-year-old Hayk Yegnanyan.

Police believe the gunman was also Armenian. He was described only as a male around 30 years old. Investigators believe he fled in a vehicle.

"The owner of the restaurant had a party for a funeral gathering and after the party was dismissed [there were] about six people left in the restaurant and this whole mayhem began," said Arie Grinstein, who owns the property. "I was called by the police to get to my home because they were thinking that maybe people were hiding at my house, which is in the back of the restaurant. And they checked it out, nobody was there, everything was clear."

No arrests have been made. There were reports that Armenian gangsters may have been responsible for the shooting, but police said they cannot confirm it was gang-related.

The community was shaken by the shooting.

"It's very, very scary not knowing who did it or why, and so many people dead at one point, at one time. It's such an incredible tragedy in the neighborhood here, I'm in shock," said Marcus Arrieta, a North Hollywood resident.

Candles and flowers were left at the door of the restaurant Monday to remember the victims.

Grinstein said the Mediterranean restaurant has always been safe, a place where he and his wife have had birthday parties and where is own children would eat frequently.

Authorities are asking for the public's help in finding the suspect. Anyone with information was urged to call the Los Angeles Police Department at (877) LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).

The Associated Press contributed to this story.


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