Armenian gang allegedly extorting grocery store owner in North Hollywood prompts shooting, police say

Authorities believe that a shooting with "multiple victims" in North Hollywood Monday morning is connected to an Armenian gang accused of extorting a business owner, police said, adding that three suspects remained on the run.

Officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to reports of shots fired at the Royal Fresh Market, located at 12811 Sherman Way around 8:15 a.m., authorities said. 

LAPD Sgt. Frank Preciado said in a press conference Monday morning that the store's owner was informed that the suspects had tagged a wall of the building stating that they wanted the money they were attempting to extort from the business.

According to an LAPD statement, "detectives had been investigating an extortion plot at the location for the past week. Graffiti was discovered on the outside wall of the business that stated 'Pay me $100,000.00.'"

While the suspects were on scene, police said that the owner of the store arrived with a firearm and a shootout occurred between the victim and the suspects. The suspects were armed with automatic weapons and possibly a rifle, the sergeant said.

Law enforcement sources reported that at least one person was shot. The condition of the shooting victim was not immediately known. Authorities initially reported that there were "multiple victims." It was unclear whether those victims were injured by gunfire.

Police took one suspect into custody, and authorities were still looking for three others. The suspect vehicle was only described as a light-colored Audi.

Additional details were not immediately known.