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Robbery may be motive in 3 West Hollywood killings

August 27, 2010 |  5:50 pm

The shooting deaths of three men at a West Hollywood apartment Thursday night may be tied to a robbery confrontation, sources told The Times.

Although the investigation is still in its early stages, law enforcement sources said Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives are looking into leads that suggest the men were targeted by assailants seeking something from one or more of the victims.

The slain men were identified as Pirooz Moussazadeh, 27; his brother, Shahriar Moussazadeh, 38; and Bernard Khalili, 27, said Craig Harvey, chief of investigations for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Sheriff's deputies responded to the apartment building in the 600 block of Kings Road about 9:15 p.m., shortly after neighbors reported hearing a series of gunshots. Inside the apartment, deputies found three men dead of gunshot wounds.

There was no sign of forced entry or a struggle, deputies said.

Relatives and friends overflowed from the Khalili family's Westwood home Friday night -- many of them crying and taking nervous drags from their cigarettes.

Thursday's killings were the second tragedy to hit the Iranian American family in less than two years. In 2008, their daughter, Bianca Khalili, fell from a Century City high-rise.

The Beverly Hills High School senior had been in the midst of a heated argument with a peer over a boy just moments before the incident. Authorities definitively ruled it a suicide -- but gossip of foul play swirled throughout the close-knit Persian Jewish community.

Khalili's parents declined to comment through relatives Friday. A cousin of Bernard Khalili said he was a gentle soul. The two, he said, grew up like brothers.

"My cousin was always a very kind person," he said. "A very forgiving person.

-- Robert Faturechi in Westwood and Richard Winton in Los Angeles