$25,000 reward offered for Freeway killer

$25,000 reward offered for Freeway killer
By Jason Kandel, Staff Writer

San Gabriel Valley Tribune
May 27, 2003

Thursday, May 27, 2004 – NORTH HOLLYWOOD – Officials today posted a
$25,000 reward for information leading to the identification, arrest
and conviction of the killer of Garen Ketikyan, 20, who was shot in
March as he and a friend were driving on the Hollywood (170) Freeway.

The family of Ketikyan, who had been working full-time at a supermarket
while studying business at Valley College before he was killed March 8,
hopes the money will encourage witnesses to come forward.

“We want to find the people who did it,” said the victim’s older
brother, Harut Ketikyan, 24, a Los Angeles County probation
officer. “The best thing for (the suspects) is to turn themselves
in. They killed the wrong person. He was a good kid. The pain is
still there.”

Someone in a white Ford Mustang fired a gun at him as he and a friend
just after midnight March 8 as he drove his 1998 Mercury Marquis
north on the freeway near Sherman Way. His passenger, whose name was
not released for his safety, was uninjured.

The suspect, who police believe was in the passenger seat of the
Mustang, is described as a bald Armenian man, 20 to 25, with a muscular
build. The Mustang had low-profile chrome rims, and Xenon headlights
that give off a blue tint.

Police were investigating whether an earlier confrontation might have
triggered the death. About 15 minutes before he was killed, Ketikyan
and his passenger were stopped at a traffic signal at Coldwater
Canyon Avenue and Victory Boulevard, and beeped their horn at two
motorcyclists who didn’t move when the light turned green.

The men got off the bikes, removed their helmets and began walking
toward the Mercury in a threatening manner, but then the confrontation
ended without incident and everyone drove away.

About 15 minutes later, Ketikyan was on the freeway when a white
Mustang, with chrome wheels and a new-car registration pulled alongside
and someone inside fired 10 to 15 rounds, Coffey said. Ketikyan was
struck in the head and died at the scene.

The passenger later told detectives he believed the men in the Mustang
were the motorcyclists who had accosted them earlier.

Ketikyan moved with his family from Armenia in 1991. He worked at Jon’s
Market in West Hollywood while studying business at Valley College.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Coffey at the
LAPD’s North Hollywood station, (818) 623-4075. On weekends and during
nonbusiness, contact the 24-hour toll-free number at the Detective
Information Desk, at (877) LAWFULL, (877) 529-3855.

Jason Kandel, (818) 713-3664 [email protected]