A man was arrested on suspicion of murder in connection with the slaying of a 21-year-old Army veteran who was gunned down in the street in Sylmar over the weekend, police said on Veterans Day.
Detectives stopped 18-year-old Sylmar resident Vincent Estrada on Tuesday afternoon as he was driving with his parents, Los Angeles Police Department officials said in a news release. After questioning him, he was booked at the Van Nuys jail and held on $1 million bail.
Detectives identified Estrada after following leads they received since Francisco "Franky" Garcia, who returned home this year after serving 18 months in Afghanistan, was slain Sunday morning.
"A person was identified today, he was detained and we have determined he is connected to this case. We had information from witnesses that led us to this person, " LAPD Det. Juan Santa said.
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"People have been very cooperative and of course this gentleman, the victim, being a veteran having gone to Afghanistan it really, really touched a nerve with a lot o people in this area and it helped us and our investigation," Det Santa added.
Garcia was leaving a party about 2 a.m. when he was confronted by a man who got out of a black SUV, threw a beer bottle on the ground, and then shot Garcia with a handgun retrieved from a white Honda nearby, detectives said.
The shooting may have stemmed from a dispute between two rival groups, detectives said.
Garcia had recently become engaged and was hoping to join the California Highway Patrol -- he'd already been accepted into the academy, according to friends.