Torrance Man Killed in Robbery
Police were searching Friday for two masked assailants who bound and fatally shot a Torrance man Thursday night after his 8-year-old son and brother managed to escape during a home invasion robbery, authorities said.
Officers arrived at the home in the 22300 block of Madison Street shortly before 10 p.m. and were met by the 21-year-old brother of Noorali Virani who told them that two men armed with handguns had entered the one-story house, tied them up and ransacked the place.
The Special Weapons and Tactics team was summoned and discovered the body of Virani, 40, who had been shot to death while his 4-year-old daughter slept in a room nearby, police said.
Virani’s brother, whom authorities would not identify, told police that he and his nephew were bound, but not in the same room as Virani. The pair apparently broke loose from their constraints, slipped out a back window and went to a neighbor’s house to call for help while the gunmen ransacked the residence. They heard gunshots shortly afterward, the brother told police.
It was unclear what the gunmen may have taken from the home, whether the assailants knew the victim or what motivated the assault, police said. But neighbors and employees of the Pakistani-born businessman, who owned an automotive supply business and a wholesale electronics store in downtown Los Angeles, said they couldn’t understand why anyone would attack Virani.
“He was a very nice man,” said a woman who works at Styletronics, Virani’s electronics store, and stopped by the house Friday to offer her condolences to the family. “I don’t know why.”
The SWAT team surrounded the newly remodeled tan stucco home where Virani lived with his wife and two children. Nearby streets in the upper-middle-class neighborhood, off Sepulveda Boulevard just south of Del Amo Fashion Center, were blocked off until about 11 p.m. Residents were told to stay indoors while police combed the area for the assailants.
Virani’s wife, whom police refused to identify, was not home at the time of the attack, authorities said. She was reportedly returning from a church function as police were entering the residence.
Police said they are still looking for clues as to how the gunmen entered the home. Sgt. Marc Wilkins said there were no signs of forced entry.
“This is considered a low-crime neighborhood,” Wilkins said. “This is completely a one-time incident and hopefully a last time. We’ve had nothing else like this happen.”
Beverly Clement, who lives behind the Viranis’ home, said she and her daughter had walked the dog less than 30 minutes before Virani was killed. She said they were unaware of the attack until police swarmed the neighborhood.
Clement said Virani was a well-dressed man who seemed to spend a lot of time with his family. She said the slaying surprised her and left her nervous about the safety of the neighborhood.
“Nothing like this has ever happened here,” Clement said. “All of a sudden there were cops all over the place. It’s frightening.”