Police believe the shooting of an Encino resident on Wednesday was a targeted attack rather than a botched robbery. As investigators follow up on suspicions about the shooter’s identity, 47-year-old Amir Wolf remains hospitalized in critical condition. Patrick Healy reports from Encino for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Jan. 9, 2014.
The ambush shooting that left a father in critical condition was not a robbery gone bad but may have been a targeted attack against the 47-year-old victim by a disgruntled family member, investigators said.
Amir Wolf was shot in the chest Wednesday afternoon as he exited his Range Rover in the 4900 block of Rupert Avenue in Encino, an upscale neighborhood in the San Fernando Valley about 20 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
Wolf, a jeweler, was listed in critical condition Thursday as investigators probed deeper into the shooting, which they believe may be connected to another crime the shooter previously committed and that Wolf may have witnessed.
Detective John Dunlop confirmed to NBC4 that investigators are following up on the Wolf family suspicion that the shooter is a relative who allegedly had committed a crime in Beverly Hills, and was angry at Wolf for implicating him.
The father of three was returning home with one or more of his three children when the shooter opened fire. Wolf’s wife heard commotion in the driveway, came outside and found her husband wounded.
Neighbors described hearing gunshots and the squealing tires of a getaway car moments before police patrol cars and helicopters swarmed the neighborhood.
"Four shots, one, two, three, four, about 90 seconds of silence, lots of sirens after that, and a minute later, a helicopter with a spotlight," neighbor Jordan Mandelberg told NBC4.
Neighbors reported seeing two different vehicles leaving quickly enough to raise suspicion – a Porsche, and a pickup truck – though police are not yet sure if the shooter was in either.
As of Thursday evening, Wolf had undergone another surgery and remained in the intensive care unit in critical but stable condition.