Man charged for allegedly pointing rifle at Larchmont Charter School administrator in WeHo staff KABC logo
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
Man charged with pointing rifle at West Hollywood school administrator
A man was charged with allegedly pointing a weapon at a school administrator at Larchmont Charter Elementary School in West Hollywood.

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- A man who allegedly pointed a rifle at a school employee in West Hollywood is now facing several charges.

Vahe Armen, 32, has been charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon or by means likely to cause great bodily injury on a school employee and one count of weapons on school grounds - grades K-12, Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón announced.

During a news conference on Monday, Gascón said Armen allegedly drove into the Larchmont Charter Elementary School drop-off area Thursday morning and pointed a gun at a school administrator.

"The school administrator was standing in front, directing traffic, and allegedly saw [Armen] exit the vehicle and point a weapon at her," the DA said. "She quickly sprung into action and ushered kids into building when the man allegedly got back in his car and drove away."

Armen was ultimately found and arrested in the 6800 block of Sunset Boulevard in the Hollywood area. Deputies also reportedly located a weapon in Armen's vehicle, according to Gascón, which the DA says was a pellet gun.

"We're lucky that in this case, the weapon was a pellet gun and not an AR-15, and the defendant didn't pull the trigger," he said.

Armen was also charged in a separate incident involving an elderly uncle, according to Gascón. In that case, he faces one count of an assault on an elder and one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime. He faces special allegations on all counts.

Sara Riff, a Larchmont Charter School parent, also spoke during Monday's news conference, saying there are no words to describe what she endured that day.

" ... To respond in real time to a call of that nature and see that scene at your own school is a living nightmare," she said.

According to an email from the charter school to parents and families, security cameras captured footage that led authorities to find the suspect.

Surveillance video shared by parents at Larchmont Charter School in West Hollywood appears to show a man pointing a rifle while standing in a parking lot at the campus.

"I feel so blessed and lucky today that we were the lucky ones who got to take our children home, and for anyone who has seen the video of this man with the gun, and imagine that at your own child's school, it's unconscionable," she said.

Armen is scheduled to be arraigned Monday afternoon. He's currently being held on $5 million bail.

If convicted as charged, Armen will face a maximum sentence of seven years, four months in state prison.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.