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Suspect in quadruple killing at Valley Village allegedly acted because he was disrespected

April 22, 2010 |  1:55 pm

A man arrested in connection with a quadruple killing at a Valley Village restaurant allegedly committed the crime because he was fed up with being disrespected by the victims, authorities said Thursday.

Nerses Arthur Galstyan, 28, and his brother, Samuel Galstyan, were taken into custody Tuesday evening in the Seattle suburb of Kenmore, authorities said. They were staying at a home, but the owner was unaware that they were wanted in connection with the April 3 slayings, officials said.

Nerses Galstyan has been charged with four counts of murder and one of mayhem, said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. He is expected to be arraigned on the charges Friday and is being held in lieu of $4 million bail, Beck said.

Detectives are still investigating the role of the brother, he said.

Nerses Galstyan was among a group of guests attending an afternoon celebration at the Hot Spot Mediterranean Restaurant in honor of a friend who had died in an accident a year earlier, police said. A quarrel allegedly broke out, and Galstyan began shooting, police said.

“He was apparently tired of being downtrodden,” said Capt. Kevin McClure of the LAPD’s Robbery- Homicide Division.

Hayk Yegnanyan, 25; Sarkis Karadjian, 26; Harut Baburyan, 28; and Vardan Tofalyan, 31, were killed in the shooting, police said. Two other men were wounded.

The brothers were arrested on a murder warrant in Seattle by U.S. marshals.

Samuel Galstyan was expected to be released because the LAPD does not at this time have sufficient evidence to keep him in custody “We are still looking at his involvement,” Beck told reporters at a news conference Thursday. McClure said Samuel Galstyan was inside the Valley Village restaurant during the shootings.

“We believe he was substantially involved,” McClure said. Detectives have yet to recover the weapon used in the killings, he said.

Based in part on information uncovered in the homicide investigation, a federal grand jury in the Central District of California, which includes Los Angeles County, separately indicted Nerses Galstyan on charges of dealing firearms without a license and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.

-- Richard Winton