Los Angeles Daily News
March 18 2004
Police release sketch of killer
Suspect is sought in freeway shooting
By City News Service
Los Angeles police released a composite drawing Wednesday of a
suspect in a fatal freeway shooting.
The shooting occurred in the early hours of March 9 when Garen
Ketikyan, 20, was driving a black 1999 Mercury Marquis north on the
Hollywood (170) Freeway in North Hollywood, Los Angeles police
Officer Jason Lee said.
Ketikyan died at the scene.
The suspect car was driven next to Ketikyan’s car near the Sherman
Way exit, and a passenger leaned out the window and fired several
gunshots, fatally wounding the victim, Lee said.
The suspect car was a newer white Ford Mustang with low-profile
tires, chrome rims and xenon headlights that gave off a blue tint,
Lee said. After the shooting, it was driven north, and merged onto
the northbound Golden State Freeway.
The shooting suspect was described as an Armenian man in his early
20s with a muscular build, Lee said.
At the time, police said the shooting may have been the result of
Police officers who were nearby heard 10 to 15 shots ring out, and
investigators later recovered several shell casings on the freeway,
Detective Mike Coffey said.
Ketikyan, who was driving home after visiting a friend in Glendale,
was shot once in the head, Coffey said.
A 20-year-old passenger in the Mercury said they had gotten into a
brief confrontation 10 minutes earlier at a stoplight at Oxnard
Street and Victory Boulevard with two men on motorcycles, Coffey
The victim honked at the motorcyclists when they failed to move when
the stoplight turned green, the detective said.
“This caused the two Armenian males on motorcycles to get off their
motorcycles, take their helmets off and walk back aggressively
towards Garen and (the passenger) in the car,” Coffey said. “Nothing
transpired. No words were spoken, but they just felt intimidated.”
Afterward, on the freeway, a newer white Mustang with chrome wheels
and dealer plates pulled up alongside the Mercury and someone inside
opened fire, he said.
The passenger told police he believes the motorcyclists could have
gotten into the Mustang and chased after them, and investigators are
trying to determine if that happened, Coffey said.
The victim’s brother, Harut Ketikyan, said that his brother was hard-
working, stayed out of trouble and did everything he could for his
Their mother was crushed by the news, as was he, Ketikyan said.
“She’s not doing well,” he said, his voice breaking. “When I left the
house, she was holding his baby picture and crying, so she’s not
taking his death too well.”
He said his brother “worked hard day and night to be helpful to his
family. He was going to school, trying to get his degree to go
forward, get a nice job.”
Anyone with further information on the case was asked to call police
homicide detectives at (818) 623-4075.