The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

Suggest Edits
 Emil Dechebal Matasareanu

Photo added by Soorus

Emil Dechebal Matasareanu

  • Birth 19 Jul 1966
  • Death 28 Feb 1997 North Hollywood, Los Angeles County, California, USA
  • Burial Cremated, Ashes scattered
  • Memorial ID 6681336

One of two bank robbers who perpetrated the infamous Bank of America robbery on February 28, 1997. On February 28, 1997, at 9:15 AM, Emil Dechebal Matasareanu and Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr, walked into a Bank of America in Van Nuys, California on Laurel Canyon Boulevard not far from the Disney, Universal and Warner Bros. studios. A total of 32 customers and 10 employees were present in the bank when the two men entered it. Both men were wearing all black, including ski masks, and both were also wearing high quality body armor. While in the bank the robbers netted $300,000, then shot and injured several individuals in the bank then instructed everyone to get in the vault. Meanwhile, an L.A.P.D. officer spotted the 2 men robbing the bank and called for backup and surrounded the bank with more than 200 officers. When the 2 men emerged from the bank, Matasareanu got in the getaway car and Phillips opened fire with a fully automatic AK-47 assault rifle with armor piercing bullets and sprayed the neighborhood with an astonishing 1,100 rounds in under 20 minutes. Several policemen and civlians were hit. Phillips was hit 9 times but because he was clad from chest to toe with body armor the .38 and .45 caliber bullets literally bounced off of him. After Phillips' ammunition was almost exhausted the 2 robbers left the bank with Matasareanu driving the getaway car and Phillips walking alongside it still firing at police. They then went separate directions; Phillips on foot and Matasareanu in the getaway car. Shortly after they parted ways, Phillips died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Matasareanu, meanwhile, drove a few blocks and attempted to ditch the getaway car and steal a truck. He unloaded all his remaining ammunition into the truck and was about to drive off when a S.W.A.T. team drove up and engaged him at close range. Matasareanu was hit a total of 29 times and died at the scene. In all, 11 police officers were severely wounded, and six civilian bystanders were injured. Incredibly, the only 2 killed were the bank robbers themselves. It was the bloodiest crime spree and shootout in the history of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Bio by: Soorus

See more Matasareanu memorials in:






Flowers have been disabled

Virtual Flowers have been disabled because of abuse.

How famous was Emil Dechebal Matasareanu?

Current rating:

45 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Soorus
  • Added: 11 Aug 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6681336
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Emil Dechebal Matasareanu (19 Jul 1966–28 Feb 1997), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6681336, ; Maintained by Find A Grave Cremated, Ashes scattered.