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News Release

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Media Relations

Man on Shooting Spree in North Hollywood, Arrested

Los Angeles: On Tuesday, May 20, 2008, police arrested Avetis Vartanyan, 24, the man responsible for going on a shooting spree in North Hollywood that left two people dead.

Just before 7 p.m., police received reports of a shooting in the 12000 block of Oxnard Street. When they arrived, they found the body of Artak Karamyan, 28, who suffered a fatal gunshot wound to his chest. Moments later, another patrol unit was dispatched to a second related shooting call near Vanowen Street and Coldwater Canyon Boulevard where they discovered another victim identified as Paylak Harutyunyan, 29, fatally shot.

After the shooting, Vartanyan was seen fleeing from the scene. Officers and a police dog searched the area and later took him into custody.

A dispute that involved both victims and a group of men was believed to be the motive for the shooting, a detective said.

Police searched the area for the murder weapon and recovered a pistol that Vartanyan had hidden in the yard of a home. A second handgun was also found inside a vehicle abandoned at the crime scene.

Vartanyan was charged with murder. His bail was set at $1,000,000.

On May 21, 2008, investigators served search warrants at three different locations throughout the San Fernando Valley. They confiscated three SKS assault rifles, two shotguns, one bolt-action rifle, three handguns, one bulletproof vest, and a large quantity of ammunition. The investigation is continuing and additional leads are being followed in an effort to identify and locate outstanding suspects involved in these two murders.

Anyone with additional information regarding this shooting is urged to call North Hollywood Area Homicide Detectives Martin Pinner or Jose Calzadillas at 818-623-4075. During off-hours, or on weekends, calls may be directed to the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).