NORTH HOLLYWOOD—A store owner being extorted by an Armenian gang was involved in a gun battle after 8:00 a.m. Monday morning, October 28 at the Royal Fresh grocery store. 

The Royal Fresh, formerly known as Fresh and Easy is located at 12811 Sherman Way in North Hollywood near Staples, Dollar Tree, and small restaurants. The shooting transpired when customers were inside shopping at both the Royal Fresh and the Dollar Tree establishments.

The owner of the grocery store claimed that for weeks gang members were demanding thousands of dollars in money from him, and tagged his walls with graffiti that said, “Pay me $100,000.” According to witnesses and employees, the graffiti was discovered Monday morning and employees contacted the store owner. The owner, who has not yet been identified to the public previously contacted the Los Angeles Police Department to report the extortion attempt. The authorities had been investigating the gang for a week.

After arriving at the store, a shooting occurred where the owner shot one gang member in his arm and grazed his head as well. The gang member was taken to a local hospital, but is expected to survive. He is currently in police custody and no additional information is known at this time. Authorities have categorized the shooting as self-defense and the owner is not expected to face any charges. 

Three other gang members involved in the shooting fled the scene in a light colored or white Audi vehicle.  

Several streets were closed for several hours while the LAPRD investigated the shooting including Sherman Way between Coldwater Canyon and Whitsett Avenue.