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News Release

Tuesday, December 4, 2001

Media Relations

Suspect Shoots, Kills Two, and Attempts to Carjack Family of Five

"Suspect Shoots, Kills Two, and Attempts to Carjack Family of Five"


Sylmar: On Monday, December 3, 2001 at approximately 11:15 p.m., a dispute in a bar evolved into a double homicide with the suspect attempting to flee the area by carjacking a vehicle containing five passengers.

Preliminary investigation revealed the suspect and the two murder victims were involved in a dispute inside a bar located in the 13000 Block of Foothill Boulevard. According to the witnesses, the suspect, identified as Zachary Mellon, a 30 year-old resident of Sylmar, shot and killed Christopher Staten, a 25 year-old resident of Sylmar and 47 year-old Patricia Frias, a resident of San Fernando. The victims, who were acquaintances of the suspect, were killed outside of the bar when their argument erupted into gunfire.

After shooting both victims several times, Mellon fled on foot towards the intersection of Hubbard Street and Gladstone Avenue. At that location, Mellon attempted to carjack a mini-van from an unidentified family of five parked at a nearby gas station. An unknown male passenger inside the vehicle fought with Mellon and the suspect then fired several gunshots at the male. The male carjack victim was unhurt during the attack.

Suspect Mellon then fled on Gladstone Avenue where responding Foothill area officers arrested him as he was discarding his clothing.

During their investigation, LAPD Officers recovered two firearms and were booked as evidence. Suspect Mellon was booked for Murder.

The Los Angeles Police department is attempting to locate the family that was victimized by the attempted carjack of their vehicle, and is seeking assistance from the community.

Anyone with information regarding this incident can call Los Angeles Police Department,

Foothill Homicide Detectives at 818-834-3113 or 818-834-3105. On weekends and during off-hours, call a 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk, 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

This press release was prepared by Public Information Officer Jack Richter, Media Relations Section, 213-485-3586.