Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

Detectives on Tuesday arrested an 18-year-old man on suspicion of murder in connection with the fatal shooting of an Army veteran at a weekend party in Sylmar.

The suspect, who police identified as Vincent Estrada, was detained as he was driving with his parents in Sylmar, police Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division, said.

Sgt. Kirk Kahoe, watch commander of the Mission Station, said Estrada had been booked on a murder charge in the shooting early Sunday of Francisco Garcia, 21, who recently returned from serving in Afghanistan.

He is being held in the Van Nuys jail on $1 million bail.

Police had said earlier that detectives believed the man whom they had detained had information about the crime. It was unclear if Estrada is suspected of firing the fatal shots.

Garcia was attending a gathering at the home of his girlfriend in the 13200 block of Dronfield Street when the partygoers decided to move up the street, according to an LAPD statement.

As Garcia was standing on the west sidewalk, north of Astoria Street, two cars stopped northbound. A man got out of a dark-colored SUV, smashed a beer bottle on the ground and yelled at Garcia from across the street, police said.

The man walked to a white Toyota or Honda behind the SUV, retrieved a handgun from an occupant and started shooting, according to the LAPD.

Vernon said earlier that it appeared Garcia, who died at the scene, was specifically targeted in the attack.

“Apparently, a simmering dispute had boiled over during the night, and (the) suspect came looking for Francisco,” he said.

City News Service

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