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News Release

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Media Relations

Suspect Arrested in Connection with Synagogue Shooting

UPDATE
Los Angeles: Earlier today, Beverly Hills Police Department officers arrested a suspect that Los Angeles Police Department detectives have been seeking in connection with a shooting that occurred last Oct. 29 when two men were shot as they arrived for morning prayer services at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Synagogue in North Hollywood.

With a warrant for his arrest, Beverly Hills SWAT officers took Christopher Littlejohn into custody without incident in the vicinity of Nordhoff Street and Balboa Boulevard for an assault that took place in the city of Beverly Hills.  Littlejohn is described as a 37-year-old Black male who resides in Northridge. His bail has been set at $2 million and he is currently being held at the BHPD jail.  More details about the synagogue shooting are available below in the original press release that went out on Oct. 29, 2009:

Gunman Shoots Two at North Hollywood Synagogue
Motive Still under Investigation

Los Angeles:  At 6:19 this morning, at the Adat Yeshurun Valley Sephardic Synagogue in North Hollywood, two men arriving for prayer services were shot.

A number of 911 calls brought Los Angeles Police Department officers from the North Hollywood area and Los Angeles City firefighters to the Synagogue located at 12405 Sylvan Street, where they found the victims, two men, one 38 the other 53 years old, in an underground garage suffering from gunshot wounds to their legs.

One of the victims had just gotten out of his car in the underground garage of the Synagogue and was near a stairwell when he was approached by a black man wearing what has been described as a dark color sweatshirt with a hood.  Investigators believe that without warning, the gunman tried to shoot the man, and his weapon malfunctioned.  As he tried to get the weapon to work, a second victim heard and saw what was happening and approached the gunman.  At that point, the suspect shot both of the victims.  He then ran on foot from the Synagogue parking garage.

The victims were taken to area hospitals where they are being treated for their wounds, which are not life threatening.  Detectives from North Hollywood are interviewing the victims as part of their investigation.  The victims have been able to give only a brief description of the shooter, a black male in his late teens to early twenties, wearing a dark-color sweatshirt with a hood.

More than an hour after the shooting, LAPD officers detained a man in an area near the shooting who fit the brief description of the suspect.  He is being interviewed as part of the ongoing investigation.  Detectives are also viewing security video of the Synagogue as part of the investigation.

At this time, a motive for the shooting has not been determined.  North Hollywood detectives will be looking into the possibility of the crime being an unsuccessful armed robbery attempt, a random act of violence or a possible hate crime. A citywide tactical alert was issued to help manage police resources, and the LAPD Department Operations Center was activated at a Level One.  Area Commanding Officers were notified to increase patrols around critical Jewish sites in their areas.  Also assisting the LAPD in its investigation is the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the LA Area Joint Regional Intelligence Center.

More information will be released as it becomes available.  Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact North Hollywood Detectives at 818-623-4045.   After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website, www.lapdonline.org.  All tips will remain anonymous.