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Man charged with more than two dozen felonies in string of violent crimes across L.A. County

Suspected of murder and robbery -- and said to be armed and dangerous by Los Angeles police -- Artyom Gasparyan ran his silver Volkswagen in the wrong direction down the 5 Freeway in Sun Valley in early January.

As he approached the Glenoaks Boulevard exit, the car crashed into another vehicle carrying a woman and children. The family suffered minor injuries and Gasparyan was taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries.

There he stayed until last week, when he was finally booked into Los Angeles County jail. On Tuesday, prosecutors said he would be held to answer for a laundry list of crimes.

Between two separate cases, Gasparyan is charged with more than two dozen felonies: one count of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder, seven counts of second-degree robbery, two counts each of carjacking and fleeing police while driving recklessly, one count of felony hit-and-run and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Prosecutors have not decided whether to seek the death penalty. Gasparyan was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday afternoon.

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Police said that Gasparyan’s string of crimes started Dec. 6 in northeast Los Angeles with a shooting, followed by another shooting in Burbank three days later. He was involved in an armed robbery four days after that and on Dec. 30, allegedly killed a man in Panorama City.

The hunt for Gasparyan intensified in January after a wild police chase, carjacking and standoff that began in Carson on New Year’s Day.

An off-duty officer noticed a Volkswagen driving erratically on the 105 Freeway and called the California Highway Patrol, the Los Angeles Police Department said. A police dispatcher told the officer that the vehicle was wanted in connection with a suspected car theft and robbery.

Patrol cars caught up to the car, which stopped near 223rd Street and Normandie Avenue. There, police said a passenger jumped out and carjacked a nearby Dodge Durango, firing four times at the driver. The shots missed, police said, but the man yanked the driver out of the SUV and took off.

The violent nature of the carjacking prompted police to follow the Durango instead of the other vehicle, police said. They chased the Durango into Long Beach, where it crashed on Wardlow Road near Maine Avenue.

The driver, later identified by police as Gasparyan's accomplice, Daniel Ramirez, jumped out of the vehicle and ran into a nearby home. Police said he shot and wounded two men inside and stabbed their father in the face before shooting himself in the head.

Ramirez eventually died from the injury.

Twitter: @JosephSerna and @katemather


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3:08 p.m.: This article was updated with additional information about the felonies that Artyom Gasparyan has been charged with.

This article was originally published at 2:19 p.m.

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