VAN NUYS (CBS) — Police have arrested a man Thursday who’s suspected of fatally shooting a teenager for writing an insulting text message about a woman.

Zareh Manjikian showed up at the courthouse in Van Nuys on Thursday afternoon, where he was arrested by federal authorities. He’s accused of killing 19-year-old Mike  Yepremyan after the victim insulted Manjikian’s friend in a text message.

Before turning himself in, Manjikian spoke to KCAL 9’s Randy Paige, where he said, “I’m here, I was not on the run.”

“I’m surrendering. I’ve wanted to surrender since day one,” said the suspect, who was accompanied by his attorney.

Paige asked Manjikian what he would want to say to Yepremyan’s family.

“I’m sorry for their loss and my heart goes out to them.”

Manjikian said he wanted to go on camera to address the accusations.

“I want people to know that I’m innocent. I want to straighten this once and for all,” Manjikian said.

Yepremyan had written a text message to his girlfriend where he called her friend, Kat Vardanian, a vulgar slang. Vardanian then contacted her family and friends, allegedly calling them to take action.

Authorities say Manjikian allegedly responded to her request and got Yepremyan to meet him in a business parking lot. Police say that’s where Manjikian fatally shot Yepremyan in the back of the head in Nov. 2009.

Several months ago, Manjikian was tracked down to a beach town in Puerto Rico and arrested but a judge there released him on $50,000 bond, despite a no-bail arrest warrant from authorities in Los Angeles.

Manjikian will be arraigned Friday or Monday.

(TM and © Copyright 2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (12)
  1. Philip Porembski says:

    people are breaking laws because of the law

  2. Jeezus says:

    the only reason the girl and her family/friends would get so mad at a vulgar slang directed toward her, is if she was in fact that very thing that she was called.

    whether it starts with a W, an S, an H, or even a P, in the end she’s simply a total C.

  3. TheWindrunner says:

    Got him!

  4. Timothy McGarry says:

    What’s with the dis from the P.R. judge?

  5. Andranik says:

    Don’t you generalize you racist F@@K!!!!!

  6. Gary says:

    Your pathetic comment does not deserve a reply!

  7. Paul says:

    Remind me again, was Timothy McVeigh Armenian too? He killed a lot more people in a terrorist act. It’s people like you that give this great country a bad name. If you have something against a single Armenian or even a dozen Armenians that does not mean that you should generalize. We all make our own decisions and this guy made his own decision and now he will have to face that decision in court. It has nothing to do with him being Armenian, Mexican, Chinese, Italian, etc. Comments like yours don’t make you any better than the people you may dislike.

  8. Vladimir Strogonov says:

    Armenia is one of those post-Soviet country. If you hate them so much, maybe you can blame communism for the actions of Armenians,Ukrainians, and Russians.

    You don’t have to be so racist because one person committed a crime. I hear news on TV about mexicans and blacks all the time, but I do not think every one of them is a criminal. So stop generalizing.

    Just leave them alone, there may be some bad Armenians. But the ones I have met they are good.

    1. Karen says:


      Racism is based on RACE. These are the races – mongoloid, caucasoid and negroid.

      Is English your second language? Try taking more courses because I really abhor the improper use of English.

  9. Stevve says:

    ‘You’re a vulgar slang!” Who would get so upset over that?

  10. C.G. says:

    He want’s people to know that he is innocent?? Please give me a break you shot someone in the back of the head just because of a text message. Good job throwing your life away. Have a nice life in prison while the girl you were “defending” is free and most likely will be with another guy by the end of this month.

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