Morning gunshots rattle neighbors

DOWNTOWN — A 32-year-old Burbank man was arrested Tuesday afternoon after he allegedly fired a gun inside an apartment complex’s underground garage.

No one was injured, and police don’t know why Rouben Davtian fired the shots at about 11:45 a.m. in the complex’s underground garage on the 300 block of South San Fernando Road, Burbank Police Sgt. Travis Irving said.

Davtian was booked at the Burbank Police Department and is being held on $1-million bail, he said.

Resident Blanca Casillas was walking to a neighborhood store to buy an energy drink when she said she heard three shots fired consecutively.

“I just froze when I heard the gunshots,” Casillas said.

When she came out of the store, she saw patrol cars surrounding the complex and officers with police dogs searching the neighborhood.

The neighborhood is tranquil and rarely has any major crimes, said Casillas, who has lived in Burbank for 35 years.

“It is so quiet. You don’t hear about things like this. . . . But I am not so sure any more,” Casillas said.

Casillas’ daughters, who attend Burbank High School, often stroll down the tree-lined street on their way home, she said, adding that she is concerned about her daughters’ safety.

“I don’t know what he was thinking,” she said. “He’s a block away from the police station.”

Police got calls from neighbors who reported hearing the gunshots and saw a man yelling in the garage, Irving said. After the shots were fired, witnesses saw the man enter an elevator, he said. The man was later identified as a resident of the complex, Irving said.

Officers found a shell casing in the garage, he said.

Police knocked on apartment doors and searched the area, Irving said.

“There are so many different areas in here that a person could hide,” he said.

When police knocked on Davtian’s apartment door, he opened it and was immediately taken into custody, he said.

Gardener Alejandro Muñoz was landscaping outside the complex Tuesday morning when he said he saw Davtian standing next to a Mercedes-Benz and flicking cigarettes on the ground.

“He smoked one, then flicked it,” Muñoz said. “He looked angry, and he did it about three times.”

Muñoz was nervous that the man was going to do something, so he said he quickly walked down the street.

“Then I heard three shots fired,” he said.

Davtian often appeared to be angry with several construction workers who work on the complex, and once threatened to hurt them, Muñoz said.

But to some residents of the complex, Davtian was cordial.

“He was a quiet guy,” resident Grant Kraal said. “He was always with his family. He loves his kids.”

Resident Noah Kass and Davtian often exchanged hellos.

“He was nice,” he said.


 VERONICA ROCHA covers public safety and the courts. She may be reached at (818) 637-3232 or by e-mail at veronica.rocha@latimes.com.

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