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Marijuana heist leads to triple murder in West Hollywood, detectives say

September 1, 2010 |  6:48 am


Detectives believe a suspect arrested in connection with the slaying of three men at a West Hollywood apartment last week opened fire because he didn't want to pay for marijuana from the victims.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials said evidence suggests that the victims were selling marijuana out of the Kings Road apartment and that they were killed in a botched robbery. They said the suspect was found with just a few pounds of stolen marijuana.

“It was a drug deal that didn’t go well,” said Lt. Pat Nelson of the Sheriff’s Department homicide bureau. “He came for the drugs and decided he didn’t want to pay for them and took them by killing these three men.”

Harold Yong Park, 31, who is expected to be charged with three murders in the next day or so, allegedly went to the apartment complex at 612 Kings Road to buy marijuana.

Shortly after 9 p.m. last Thursday, neighbors heard gunfire coming from the apartment in the 28-unit building, officials said. The victims were identified as Pirooz Moussazadeh, 27; his brother, Shahriar Moussazadeh, 38; and Bernard Khalili, 27. Witnesses saw Park and the car near the scene, according to Nelson.

Investigators said they found drug packaging materials inside the apartment. At this stage of the investigation, detectives believe the victims bought the marijuana from collectives and then tried to resell it on the streets.

“If you are doing it legitimately, obviously you don’t sell it after dark out of a West Hollywood apartment,” Nelson said.

Park was arrested in Lomita on Monday morning. Marijuana was found inside the car he was driving.

Park, of East Hollywood, was taken into custody after his vehicle was identified by an automated license plate recognition system in a patrol car. He was initially booked on drug-possession charges and, after an interview, was also booked on murder charges. Park's girlfriend, Veronica Lozano, 20, of La Habra, was also in the vehicle and was arrested on charges of possession of marijuana for sale, officials said.

The slayings shocked neighbors in the quiet neighborhood, which is a short walk from trendy Melrose Avenue. But Nelson said Park acted alone and that investigators are not looking for any other suspects in the slayings.

-- Richard Winton

Photo: Sheriff's Department officers stand outside the scene of a triple slaying in West Hollywood. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times