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.
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"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.
"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.