An attempted robbery in front of the restaurant Via Alloro led to gunfire and one injury on the evening of Oct. 19, according to the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD). The incident marks the second time in over six months that the peace and commerce of the city’s Business District has been disturbed by gun violence.
“At approximately 8:45 p.m. this evening, Beverly Hills police communication center received several 911 calls regarding a shooting that had just occurred in the 300 block of North Canon. Arriving officers located a victim who was suffering from a non-threatening gunshot wound to the leg,” said BHPD Lt. Giovani Trejo. The victim is in stable condition and retained all of his belongings during the incident, he said. The suspect remains at large.
“Preliminary information appears at this point that the male victim was the target of a robbery.”
Witnesses told the Courier that the victim, a young Black man, had come to Via Alloro with a woman and a baby.
A restaurant employee who requested anonymity to speak candidly was just feet away when the gun went off. While the woman and child were inside, the victim left the restaurant to cross the street to Rite Aid.
“He went to buy something at Rite Aid and he came back to his car,” he said, pointing to a white Lamborghini SUV still parked in front of the restaurant on Canon. A light-colored sedan pulled up beside the victim, the employee said, and a passenger exited the vehicle and approached him. “I thought they were friends,” the employee said.
Trejo told reporters that a “struggle ensued between the victim and the suspect” at this point. People on the balcony above Via Alloro began to yell, “Leave him alone,” the employee said. “I ran to help him and I heard the gunshot.”
One woman on a date told the Courier, “We heard the gunshot and I got under the table.”
Udy Ivazov was celebrating his sister’s birthday with his parents and sister when they heard the gunshot from just feet away. At first, he mistook the sound for a breaking dinner plate. He realized otherwise when he saw a valet driver and other bystanders running away from the sound. Ivazov looked in the direction of the noise and saw the light-colored car speed away through a red light.
“Then I saw a guy walk forward. He was like, ‘I’m shot, I’m shot,’ and I didn’t think he was serious because he looked o.k.,” Ivazov told the Courier. “Then he got down on the floor and took his pants [off] and I saw a gunshot.”
In March, only a block away from this latest incident, Beverly Hills experienced a robbery with gunfire in broad daylight at Il Pastaio. In that case, a watch valued at $500,000 was stolen. Three men accused of perpetrating the theft were arrested in May and recently pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit interference with commerce by robbery and one count of possession and use of a firearm during a crime of violence.
Trejo said that the department had no reason to suspect a connection with the Il Pastaio robbery.
More recently, on Sept. 22, two individuals were robbed at gunpoint by two suspects on the 300 block of North Beverly Drive. In the holdup, which happened around 9:30 p.m., the victims complied with demands and gave the suspects their watches and jewelry.
“The city of Beverly Hills is a safe city,” Trejo said. “If everything points to the need to increase security in the area, then that’s what we’ll do. We’re trying to make sure that our residents [and] our visitors feel safe in the city of Beverly Hills.”