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Mom, Daughters Shot in Minivan

December 22, 2000

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A man shot and killed his estranged wife and their 13-year-old daughter as they sat in a line of cars snaking toward a holiday light show, police said.

Gabriel Ghazelian also wounded two other daughters before fleeing, officers said. Police were searching for him Friday and believed he was still in the area.

Police said Ghazelian, 49, showed up at his wife’s house Thursday evening and asked for a ride to his car, which he said had broken down. She agreed.

The family minivan was caught in the slow-moving traffic near Griffith Park, just south of Burbank, when Ghazelian pulled out a handgun ``for no apparent reason and with no warning″ and opened fire, Detective Jose Carrillo said.

Ghazelian killed Zabel Ghazelian, 40, from whom he’d been separated for over a year, and daughter Garine Ghazelian, police said.

The surviving girls, whose names were not released, were in critical condition Friday. The 14-year-old was shot in the head and the 17-year-old in the cheek, Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey said.

Carrillo said police did not know what caused Ghazelian to shoot.

``I think it just has to do with the separation and possibly a pending divorce,″ he said. Carrillo declined to say whether police knew of any family history of violence.

Update hourly