Dispatch: ‘It’s Still A Mystery Why He Was On That Street’


Los Angeles Times
August 3 – August 10 "

Seventeen years ago, Akop Aduryan moved to Los Angeles from his native
Armenia, hoping to make a better life for his young family.

His country was war torn and in economic shambles after the break-up
of the Soviet Union. Together, he and his wife, Ruzanna, who was
pregnant with their second child, decided to start over in America.

Nine days after they arrived, his wife gave birth to another son. They
shared a small three-bedroom home in North Hollywood with 12 family

Aduryan, who had received two degrees in Armenia, worked making jewelry
with his brother to support his family. After they moved into their
own apartment, he and his brother worked together as mechanics. With
money still tight, four years ago he took a second job as a night
security guard.

Each weeknight his routine was the same. He would get home from his
work as a mechanic around 6 p.m., take a short nap, then leave for his
job as a security guard at 8 p.m. He would return home for roughly
half an hour between 9 and 9:45 p.m., then leave again for work and
come home at midnight, said his older son Chris, 18.

On July 23, Aduryan followed his usual pattern. He arrived home
about 9 p.m. on his break from guarding outside an insurance company
building at Victory Boulevard and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in North
Hollywood. Forty-five minutes later he went back to work.

What happened next makes no sense to his wife and sons.

About 11 p.m., Aduryan got into a heated argument with a group of
Armenian men in a somewhat secluded area in the 7500 block of Goodland
Avenue in Sun Valley – along the back fence of the Charles Leroy
Lowman Special Education Center, a school for special needs children.

He was more than two miles from his security guard post.

A woman who lives on the street said she was watching television when
she heard shots.

"It sounded like firecrackers on July 4th. One after another
like boom, boom, boom, boom," said Edna, who did not want to be
identified with her last name because the assailants have not been
found. "About an hour later a policeman came to my door and said it
wasn’t firecrackers. He told me a guy was shot and he was killed….I
said a little prayer."

Edna said she had spoken to several of her neighbors about the
incident, and nobody could recall something similar happening on her
street in the last 25 years.

LAPD Det. Kirk Patrick said witnesses were unable to identify
the suspects because the shooting happened in a somewhat dark and
secluded area.

Patrick said police arrested a person in connection with Aduryan’s
killing, but the district attorney’s office declined to file charges
because of insufficient evidence. Patrick said police determined the
incident was not related to Aduryan’s work as a security guard. He
said he believed Aduryan had agreed to meet the man or men who killed
him at that location.

Aduryan’s family described him as a loving man, always willing to
put his family before himself. Chris Aduryan said they had to force
him to travel and take time off from work. He had saved up to buy
his wife nice earrings for their 20th anniversary, and had recently
spent a weekend with his family at Zuma beach near Malibu.

They said he tended to interfere when he saw something happening he
thought was wrong, and his son guessed that that tenacity might have
gotten him killed.

Ruzanna Aduryan thumbed through old family photo albums and at times
tried to hold back tears, recalling her recent wedding anniversary
and holding the earrings he had given her.

"It’s still a mystery why he was on that street," she said.

Anyone with information about this killing is asked to call LAPD
North Hollywood division detectives at (818) 623-4075.

–Anthony Pesce in Sun Valley and North Hollywood Top photo: Street
memorial at the site of Akop Aduryan’s July 23 shooting death in
Sun Valley Credit: Anthony Pesce/Los Angeles Times Middle photo:
Akop Aduryan in family photo. Bottom photo: Akop Aduryan, standing,
with his wife and two sons in a family photo