A business owner who was apparently being extorted by an Armenian gang shot at four assailants during a confrontation in Valley Glen, leaving one suspect wounded, LAPD officials said Monday.
The incident was reported just before 8:15 a.m. near the intersection of Sherman Way and Coldwater Canyon Avenue, police said.
A supermarket owner who had been previously intimidated by a gang was getting out of his vehicle in the parking lot when he was confronted by four people, Sgt. Frank Preciado said.
“What the suspect wasn’t counting on was that the victim was armed,” he said.
The victim shot at the assailants during a gunbattle between the two groups, and at least one person was shot in the shoulder during the exchange. That injured suspect ran away and eventually collapsed; he was taken into custody about three blocks away after police responded. It is unclear who fired first during the incident.
Another assailant was seen limping from the scene, but it is unclear if that person was wounded in the shooting.
The three other people drove away in a newer-model white Audi, Preciado said.
Shell casings littered the parking lot and multiple vehicles and buildings were struck by gunfire during the incident.
Arthur Gonzalez's vehicle was struck by gunfire. He said he heard what sounded like "firecrackers" and he ran out to the parking lot. He said he saw the suspect vehicle drive off and headed north on Coldwater Canyon.
“This is like a scene out of the wild, wild West,” Preciado said. “From all the rounds that were fired, it’s amazing that we didn’t have some bystanders that were struck by gunfire.”
An LAPD spokesman had initially said multiple people had been shot at the scene, the site of a Royal Fresh grocery store.
One side of a building in the parking lot was marked with graffiti demanding that the victim pay $100,000 to the gang. Preciado did not elaborate on the gang that was involved in the shooting or what its connection is to the intended victim.
The victim and those involved in the shooting were both described as Armenian.
Officers and about a half-dozen patrol cars were seen in the store's parking lot about 9:30 a.m., aerial video from Sky5 showed. Several officers seemed to be working around a box truck labeled "mariscos."
Sherman Way was blocked off during the investigation.