There were plenty of Los Angeles police officers at Bruce Springsteen's Coliseum concert Friday watching for fights, drugs and alcohol. But a few extra officers were also guarding Alfred Der Hacopian and his girlfriend, and looking for a man suspected of murder who might try to claim their seats.
A little more than 24 hours earlier, a suspected killer had pointed a gun at Der Hacopian's head while he was parked at a Sunland convenience store and had driven away with Der Hacopian's wallet and his new truck--with his tickets to the concert in the glove compartment.
The man, later identified as Tony Black, 22, had allegedly shot and killed his roommate at their Atwater home an hour before stealing Der Hacopian's 1985 Chevrolet Blazer.
The ticket agency that sold Der Hacopian his seats gave him another pair after tracing the purchase through a credit card number and receiving a call from Los Angeles police.
"At first I wasn't thinking about going to the concert; at that point I couldn't have cared less," Der Hacopian said. "I went because of my girlfriend. She really likes Springsteen."
But Der Hacopian, 26, said he was nervous during the concert. While his girlfriend danced and sang along with more than 80,000 Springsteen fans, the Glendale resident said, he kept a cautious watch.
"The guy might have been crazy enough to show up," Der Hacopian said. "The whole time I was looking around. I knew the police were there, but I couldn't concentrate on the show."
Der Hacopian and local police didn't know at the time that the suspect was two states away.
That night, El Paso police had stopped Black for speeding. A routine check revealed that Black was driving Der Hacopian's truck and was wanted in Los Angeles as a murder suspect.
Black is suspected of killing his roommate, Ali Hosseini, early on the morning of Sept. 26 and then stealing Der Hacopian's vehicle at the store on Osborne Street, off the Golden State Freeway, Los Angeles police said.
"I wasn't scared; I've had a lot of guns pulled on me," said Der Hacopian, a former security guard. "My girlfriend was pretty upset. It really got to her."
Hosseini's body was found with a .45-caliber bullet wound in the head in the living room of a house shared by the two men at 3943 Edenhurst Ave., police said. No motive was given for the killing.
Black is being held in an El Paso jail. Police will seek extradition to Los Angeles, Capt. Robert Taylor said.