Glendale bakery owner sentenced after plea in triple-shooting case
A Glendale bakery owner pleaded no contest Wednesday to a charge related to a triple shooting at a North Hollywood body shop last year.
A judge convicted Akop “Jack” Torosian, owner of Papillon International Bakery, of one count of possessing a deadly weapon with the intent to commit assault. Torosian was sentenced to three years of probation.
The remaining charges against him, which included two counts each of attempted murder and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, were dropped. Last month, an attorney representing the victims was accused of attempting to extort Torosian’s brother.
Torosian was also ordered to stay away from a list of people, including two of the men injured in the shooting.
“This decision is not being made lightly,” Phil Stirling, assistant head deputy of the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, said in court of the settlement.
Any new evidence could cause the case to be refiled, he added. He declined to comment further outside of court.
Torosian’s attorney, Daniel Behesnilian, also declined to comment on the case.
The case goes back to April 16 of last year, when Torosian reportedly got into an argument with one of the shooting victims, Harut “Charlie” Fitilchyan.
Fitilchyan was supposed to help order locks for Torosian’s new Glendale home, but was late to a meeting, Fitilchyan recalled on Wednesday. The pair got into an argument over the phone, he said, which continued when Torosian showed up at a North Hollywood body shop where Fitilchyan was at the time.
Torosian then left, and returned an hour later with his brother, he said.
“He came back with a gun. That’s when I got shot,” Fitilchyan said, adding that he was holding a cup of coffee at the time.
Shortly after, he said, the body shop owner, Hrach Gasparyan, fired back.
“The only reason I’m alive is because Hrach shot back from the shop,” Fitilchyan said. “If he didn’t shoot, I would be dead.”
Three men — Fitilchyan, the body shop owner and Akop Torosian’s brother, Robert — were injured in the shooting. Fitilchyan was struck once in his stomach, while another bullet grazed his ear. He underwent two surgeries.
Both Torosian brothers were arrested that day, but just Akop Torosian was charged.
“He almost made six kids orphans,” Fitilchyan said, adding that he and the body shop owner each have three children.
In an unusual twist, the attorney representing Gasparyan and Fitilchyan was accused of attempting to extort $2 million from Robert Torosian, allegedly in exchange for the pair’s silence on the stand.
Armen Tashjian was charged in November with one count each of conspiracy to commit the crime of offering to receive a bribe, attempted extortion, conspiracy to commit extortion and conspiracy to commit an act injurious to the public, according to the Los Angeles County Superior Court criminal complaint.
Tashjian is slated to be arraigned next month.