Harut Baburyan, 28
Harut Baburyan, a 28-year-old white man, died Saturday, April 3, in the 11600 block of Riverside Drive in Valley Village, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.
Police investigators said Baburyan, along with three men, Sarkis Karadjian, 26; Hayk Yegnanyan, 25; and Vardan Tofalyan, 31, were inside the Hot Spot café, a Mediterranean restaurant, when a gunman or gunmen opened fire before fleeing. Baburyan, Karadjian and Yegnanyan were pronounced dead at the scene. Tofalyan was taken to a hospital where he died about an hour later, according to coroner's records. Two other men were injured but were expected to survive.
Days after the killings, Los Angeles Police Department detectives were struggling with conflicting accounts and an undetermined motive.
Law enforcement sources told The Times that detectives were skeptical about some of the accounts given by witnesses at the restaurant and are still not sure whether there was one gunman or two. Detectives also aren't sure how many people were at the restaurant at the time because some customers apparently fled before police arrived.
The sources, who spoke to The Times on the condition that they not be named because it was an ongoing investigation, said they believe the shooting was tied to Armenian or Eurasian organized crime but are unsure of the motive.
Investigators are hoping that shell casings recovered from the Hot Spot Cafe will provide a clearer account of exactly what happened Saturday afternoon.
Capt. Kevin McClure of the LAPD's robbery-homicide division, said the large of number of gunshots fired during the attack suggest that more than one gunman was involved, but detectives aren't sure.
"We are looking for anyone who knows about this shooting to come forward," he said. A security video from the restaurant, McClure said, "did not provide the identity of the suspect or suspects because it didn't show the inside" of the cafe.
--Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein