Authorities on Friday named 28-year-old Nerses Arthur Galstyan as the prime suspect in Valley Village restaurant attack that took the lives of four men Saturday. Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck said at an afternoon news conference that Galstyan shot the men "in anger" following an argument at a one-year anniversary memorial celebration for a mutual friend killed in a car accident.
Galstyan remains at large, and Los Angeles police Robbery-Homicide Division commander Kevin McClure said at the conference that police believe family or friends are helping him hide. Two search warrants were served at residences in North Hollywood and Glendale connected to the suspect, police said.
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Galstyan was known to federal authorities: They allege he met with a confidential informant Sept. 2 and sold two rifles that had the serial numbers removed. Authorities also allege he offerd to sell two more high-power rifles. He was indicted on suspicion of conspiracy, selling firearms without a license and possession of a gun that had its serial number removed.
The Saturday carnage at an Armenian eatery drew speculation that Armenian organized crime was behind the homicides, but there appeared to be little mention of such a possible connection at the press conference.
"There is a great deal of physical evidence" tying Galstyan to the crime, alleged McClure. " ... Everybody inside that room knew each other," he said.
-With reporting from Weekly wire services. Got news? Email us.