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Police: LA Shooting Victims Targeted; Gunman at Large

Police: LA Shooting Victims Targeted; Gunman at Large

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Associated Press

April 05, 2010

LOS ANGELES — Authorities on Sunday continued searching for a suspect in a deadly weekend shooting at a San Fernando Valley restaurant as more details emerged, including the identities of the four victims and the fact that police believe the men were targeted.

“We don’t have a crazed gunman running around North Hollywood that presents an immediate threat to public safety, to anyone in their homes or businesses in the area,” Los Angeles Police Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese said. “However, this is also not a random act of violence. This was an intentional act.”

The Hot Spot Cafe, a Mediterranean restaurant in North Hollywood, was filled with customers Saturday afternoon when at least one gunman walked in and opened fire, police said.

Three men died at the scene, and another later died at a hospital. Los Angeles police identified the victims as Harut Baburyan, 28; Sarkis Karadjian, 26; Vardan Tofalyan, 31; and Hayk Yegnanyan, 25. No hometowns or other information was released.

Two other people were wounded but were expected to survive. Their names were not released.

Police set up a mobile command post near the scene and closed a stretch of Riverside Drive overnight. At about 3:30 a.m., a tow truck took away a late-model Toyota sedan that had what appeared to be blood splattered on the outside.

The bodies of three men remained inside the restaurant overnight as detectives and coroner’s investigators gathered clues. A motive for the attack was unknown.

A nearby resident told The Daily News that the cafe often seemed strangely deserted.

“It opened five years ago, and it’s always closed and empty,” said Matt Edwards, who heard the gunfire.

Kim Sutton, who lives around the corner, said: “There’s always people outside talking but never anyone eating.”

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