Armenian gang extortion attempt led to gunfire at North Hollywood market, police say


A shootout that wounded at least one person outside a North Hollywood market on Monday involved the business owner and members of a street gang who had been trying to extort $100,000 from him, a police official said.

Employees were cleaning gang graffiti from the outside walls of Royal Fresh Market, at 12811 Sherman Way, when armed gang members arrived shortly after 8 a.m., Sgt. Frank Preciado said.

“What the suspects weren’t counting on was the victim was armed too,” Preciado said.

The market’s owner had two weapons, and he and the gang members exchanged dozens of rounds that struck several cars and left the parking lot littered with spent casings, the sergeant said.

Witnesses reported seeing one fleeing gunman limping, but it wasn’t known whether he had been shot, Preciado said.


No other injuries were reported.

The sergeant said the graffiti contained obscenities and the amount of money demanded by the gunmen: $100,000.

Members of the gang Armenian Power had been trying for weeks to extort the market owner, who is also of Armenian descent, Preciado said. He was being interviewed by investigators, and his name was not released.

The owner told detectives he had a long gun and an automatic handgun, but investigators didn’t immediately recover the weapons, Preciado said.