Thursday, June 26, 2008

Taggers Shoot Business Owner in Hollywood

The Los Angeles Times reports that an auto body shop owner was shot in the chest while confronting graffiti taggers defacing the side of his building:

An auto body shop owner shot in the chest Wednesday during a confrontation with gang-affiliated taggers who had scrawled graffiti on his Hollywood business was in stable condition today, according to authorities and the man's brother.

The midday incident took place in the 5000 block of Hollywood Boulevard shortly after 1 p.m. when workers at the business spotted taggers painting a side wall with 6-foot high black letters and told the owner.

The man and his employees were writing down license plate information when the alleged taggers got out of their car, said LAPD Sgt. Alfredo Flores. The owner told the two youths --described as white males, each not much taller than 5 feet -- not to tag his property, Flores said. One of the youths pulled out a handgun, shot the man in the chest and then got back in the car and drove away.

Authorities said the youths are believed to have ties to a local gang, known as Armenian Power. Surveillance video from the shop is being used by detectives who said they think they have identified the youths and are searching for them now, said LAPD Cmdr. Pat Gannon.

Gannon said other youths had been questioned but no arrests had been made in the case. A vehicle believed to have been used by the suspects was found Wednesday in the San Fernando Valley and seized by officers. The auto body shop had previously been tagged with graffiti and the owner had installed video cameras connected to the store's computers to monitor activity.

At the shop this morning, the wounded man's brother, who would not give his name, said only that his brother was doing fine.

The taggers' bold black letters were still fresh on the building's beige wall. At least one coat of paint already covered a previous paint job. The wall faces the parking lot for a costume rental shop and a Head Start program.
The article continues, at the link.