Brinks Guard Killed in Holdup at Supermarket


A Brinks guard was shot and killed and another guard was wounded Monday during a shootout with masked robbers at a bank branch inside a crowded San Fernando Valley supermarket.

The gunfire erupted at 6:10 p.m. at a Bank of America branch in the Albertson’s at 13051 Victory Blvd. when the robbers, one carrying an assault rifle, surprised the guards, said Los Angeles Police Officer Don Cox.

Los Angeles Police Lt. Otis Dobine, who is heading the investigation, said the robbers “entered the store, and while the Brinks courier was inside the Bank of America branch, the suspect approached the driver, and we know that shots were fired. The Brinks courier was critically wounded.”


At least one guard returned fire, police said. The exchange of gunfire was reportedly witnessed by at least two dozen customers in the grocery store, which anchors a mall in the Valley Glen area between Van Nuys and North Hollywood.

One of the guards died at the scene, Cox said. The other was rushed to Providence-Holy Cross Medical Center, where he was listed in serious but stable condition. Their names were not immediately available, and it was unknown whether the robbers got away with any money, Cox said.

The gunmen escaped in a white Chevrolet Astrovan, which may have been driven by a third suspect.

“Witnesses gave investigators the license plate number of the van, which turned out to have been stolen,” Cox said. “We don’t know yet whether any suspect was wounded, or if they escaped with any money.”

Video surveillance inside the store may help authorities identify the robbers.

The attempted robbery was similar to one that occurred in the parking lot of a South-Central Los Angeles supermarket on Dec. 12. Four men robbed an armored car courier, shooting him in the back and a store security guard in the head.

In that incident, the courier, who was wearing a bulletproof vest, survived. The security guard, shot point-blank as he lay on the floor, suffered a graze wound. The robbers fled on foot with a satchel, which may have contained only food stamps.


About a week earlier, another attack on an armored car in West Hollywood left its driver dead and its cargo missing.

And on Aug. 13, a bloody gun battle with an armored car guard outside a Van Nuys Costco left one shopper dead and two people critically wounded.


Times staff writer Roberto J. Manzano contributed to this report.