Suspect Identified in Restaurant Shooting - NBC Southern California

Suspect Identified in Restaurant Shooting



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    Los Angeles police on Friday identified a suspect in a shooting at a Valley Village restaurant that left four people dead. Now they are asking for the public's help to find him.

    Nerses Arthur Galstyan, 28, who has not been arrested, is believed to be the man who opened fire inside the Hot Spot Cafe, located at 11651 Riverside Drive, around 4:30 p.m. last Saturday, according to Los Angeles police.

    Galstyan was at the restaurant attending a party in memory of an acquaintance who had died in an accident a year earlier, according to police.

    During that celebration, Galstyan "became involved in a dispute with several men at the celebration and in anger, fired multiple rounds, hitting and killing four of them,'' said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck.

    Three men died at the cafe, and a fourth died at the hospital. Two others were injured.

    The dead men have been identified by police as Harut Baburyan, 28; Sarkis Karadjian, 26; Vardan Tofalyan, 31; and Hayk Yegnanyan, 25.

    Police said Galstyan was seen on surveillance video inside the restaurant. Police initially said the victims appeared to have been targeted, and that the shooting may have been related to Armenian gangs; however, on Friday they said the shooting was apparently just a dispute that erupted at a party.

    In February, Galstyan was charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy, engaging in the business of dealing in firearms without a license and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

    According to the indictment, Galstyan allegedly met with a confidential informant on Sept. 2, and sold two .223-caliber semiautomatic rifles with obliterated serial numbers, along with two high-capacity magazines, for $3,600.

    Galstyan also allegedly told the informant that he could sell HK rifles with 8-inch barrels for $3,000 each, and that he routinely had AK weapons for sale, according to the indictment.

    Galstyan remains at large and police said he should be considered "armed and very dangerous."