L.A. ROAD TRIP – PART 2

After we did the touristy stuff, I asked my friend to take me to the scene of the infamous 1997 North Hollywood shootout. Fortunately, my friend is a fellow crime buff, and a police officer in southern California. So he was not only more than willing to go there, he was very knowledgeable about the details of the shootout.


The incident started with the robbery of this Bank of America branch on Laurel Canyon Blvd in North Hollywood. There were two robbers, Larry Phillips and Emil Matasareanu.


Phillips exited the bank through the north entrance.


Matasareanu exited the bank from the south entrance.


An LAPD patrol car was passing as the robbers entered the bank. They called for backup while the two men were inside. Several units were already on scene as the men left the bank. One of the officers, an LAPD motor officer, took cover at this Del Taco next to this pay phone, and fired at the robbers from here during the shootout.


During the shootout, several officers took refuge in this dentist’s office across the street from the bank.


Officers, who were armed with pistols and shotguns, quickly realized they were ill-equipped to take on the two robbers. Police went to this gun store looking for weapons that could penetrate the robbers’ body armor.

An interesting aside: My friend/tour guide said he bought his first gun at this very store.


The B&B gun store is no longer at this location. It is now the Olive Fresh Garden Marketplace.


It was at this location on Archwood Street–just around the corner from the bank–that Larry Phillips died after shooting himself, and being shot by an LAPD officer. The two shots happened almost simultaneously. Note the MS-13 gang graffiti on the wall.


About 2 blocks down Archwood Street from where I took this picture, Emil Matasareanu was shot and killed by police.


The only evidence I saw of the massive battle that took place here is this bullet hole in a lamp post.

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