Four suspects have been arrested in the robbery and slaying of a man after he made a withdrawal from an automatic teller machine at a Northridge savings and loan, Los Angeles police said Thursday.
One of the suspects, Elisaia Reupena, 26, was arrested late Wednesday in a Torrance hospital where he was being treated for gunshot wounds suffered during the struggle with the victim, Aslam Hasham, 29, of Canoga Park, police said.
Hasham was shot to death at 8:45 p.m. Tuesday in the Coast Savings parking lot at Nordhoff Street and Tampa Avenue.
The other three suspects, Stephan Rice and Marty Mares, both 20, and a 17-year-old boy, were arrested Thursday at their homes in Granada Hills, police said.
All four, described by investigators as longtime friends, were being held without bail on suspicion of murder and could face charges in other robberies, police said.
Other Valley Holdups
“It is believed these four suspects were responsible for a number of ATM robberies throughout the San Fernando Valley,” Lt. Harvie Eubank said.
Police said Hasham was shot during a struggle with a gunman who accosted him after he made a withdrawal from an ATM at the side of the bank. Two of Hasham’s friends, Omar Nasib, 27, and Shaharyar Shafquat, 20, were robbed by a second gunman while they sat nearby in a car. They were not hurt. Police declined to say how much money was taken.
Reupena, believed to be from the Granada Hills area, was first questioned by police late Tuesday when officers were called to Granada Hills Community Hospital by staff members who reported a gunshot victim.
Eubank said Reupena was being treated for wounds in both legs and told officers that he had been standing on a curb on Balboa Boulevard when he was hit by gunfire from a passing car.
Reupena became a suspect in the Hasham slaying because police said they found no evidence of such a drive-by shooting. Meanwhile, investigators on the ATM case determined from blood and other evidence at the shooting scene that two people had been shot, Eubank said.
‘Knew Suspect Shot’
“We knew one of the suspects had been shot,” Eubank said.
On Wednesday, Reupena was transferred to the Torrance hospital for an unknown reason, Eubank said.
Detectives were able to gather evidence linking him and his three friends to the robbery and slaying, Eubank said. But he would not elaborate on that evidence or on what part each of the suspects is believed to have played.
“We believe all four went there with the intention of committing a robbery,” he said.
During questioning Thursday, one of the suspects admitted to investigators that the foursome had committed numerous robberies of ATM customers in recent weeks, Eubank said. He said detectives are attempting to learn the extent of the robbery spree.