Los Angeles

Three Years Later, Shooting of North Hollywood Film Executive Still a Mystery

Suren "Chris" Donoyan was shot in the back of the head in his apartment on Nov. 20, 2014.

The shooting death of a North Hollywood film executive and businessman still remains a mystery to detectives almost three years after his body was found in his upscale apartment.

Someone entered Suren "Chris" Donoyan's home on Nov. 20, 2014, and shot him in the back of the head. 

"No one heard anything," Los Angeles Police Department homicide Det. Steve Castro said. "No gunshot, no struggle, no argument, no loud noises, anything."

Donoyan's body was discovered inside the apartment five days later.

"We checked surveillance video, we canvassed the area...The only problem is, we don't know what we're looking for," Castro said. 

"I think the most frustrating part of this case is that we don't have a motive and don't have any idea why Chris was killed."

Donoyan, who was 53, was a media agent and film production executive who was seeking a new business venture at the time of his death. Detectives did not specify the details because of the investigation.

Detectives don't think robbery was a motive. Several valuables were left behind at Donoyan's apartment and were untouched, including a Rolex watch, car keys, a handgun and thousands of dollars in a safe.

"We don't know what happened," Castro said.

In the months before his murder, Donoyan was down on his luck and his brother loaned him $20,000. Investigators think his brother delivered the money to Donoyan on the day of his death.

"He had been up to the apartment, but he felt he was being rushed out, and said he felt like someone was inside that apartment," Castro said.

Donoyan had surveillance cameras in his apartment, one of those cameras was missing when detectives first searched the apartment, Castro said.

"They always checked me in downstairs when I came in," said Charlie Mitchell, Donoyan's friend. "How did somebody get in there and do this? There's a lot that I can't reconcile and can't get passed, quite frankly."

With no way to pinpoint exactly when he was killed, detectives don't know who to look for in any of the surveillance video.

Three years later, Donoyan's family is still too distraught to publicly talk about his death.

"He was an incredibly loyal friend," Mitchell said. "For me personally, I can't tell you how many times he came through for me."

The city of Los Angeles is offering a $50,000 reward for information to help solve the case.

"It had to be someone that he knew well and trusted well," Mitchell said. "There's got to be some sort of justice for this."

Contact Us