Police have been investigating the repeated gunfire targeting the home where 8-year-old Jonah Hwang was struck by a bullet. Photo: OnSceneTV
Police have been investigating the repeated gunfire targeting the home where 8-year-old Jonah Hwang was killed. Photo: OnSceneTV

The alleged killer of an 8-year-old orphan in Pomona was behind bars Monday and police were expected to provide details later in the day of what led to the suspect’s arrest.

The murdered boy, Jonah Hwang, had been in the United States for fewer than three years after being brought here from a  Taiwanese orphanage. He was in a Pomona house having dinner with his American family and friends when he was killed by a bullet fired from outside the residence.

A 35-year-old man was arrested Sunday on suspicion he fired the bullet.

Sengchan Houl was picked up about 11:40 a.m. without incident in an unincorporated area of Pomona, according to police. It’s unclear at this point what led to Houl’s arrest by Pomona police detectives. Houl is scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday.

Jonah was fatally shot Feb. 20 in a home in the 1100 block of West 11th Street in Pomona.

[symple_googlemap title=”Pomona killing” location=”1100 West 11th Street, Pomona, Ca” height=”300″ zoom=”13″]

The youth, whose family brought him home from a Taiwanese orphanage fewer than three years ago, died at a hospital. The residents hosting the dinner were married school teachers with two children of their own, according to neighbors.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis recommended a $10,000 reward in the fatal shooting of Hwang. The reward was approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors on March 8.

There was another $20,000 reward offered by the Pomona Police Department and the city of Pomona, bringing the total to $30,000. It’s unclear at this point whether anyone is in line for those rewards, now that an arrest has been made.

Hwang’s shooting was the second of three drive-by assaults at that location. A police officer said a gunshot had been fired at the residence in January when no one was home. It was unclear if that incident was related to the fatal shooting or if it was a case of mistaken identity. A third shooting took place just this past week, but no one was hit.

Police said the family at that location had no gang ties.

Houl was booked at the Pomona Jail and was being held on $2 million bail. He is scheduled to head to court on Tuesday for his arraignment.

Police will hold a news conference outside the Pomona police station on Monday at 1 p.m. to discuss the case.

Anyone with information on this homicide was asked to call the Pomona Police Homicide Bureau at (909) 620-2095.

–City News Service

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