A 22-year-old Army veteran recently home from Afghanistan was fatally shot early Sunday morning outside a Los Angeles-area party, KCAL-TV reported.
Francisco Garcia attended the party with friends on Saturday evening, Sylmar police said. By 2 a.m. Sunday the party moved up the street to another location, KCAL said.
Police said Garcia was standing on the sidewalk when two cars stopped and a Hispanic man reportedly exited a dark SUV and smashed a beer bottle on the ground while yelling at Garcia, KCAL reported.
The man walked to the second vehicle, a white Toyota or Honda, got a handgun from a second suspect and started shooting at Garcia, KCAL said.
Garcia was shot and died at the scene, authorities told KCAL. No other injuries were reported.
“It appears Francisco was the target of the attack,” Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division, told KCAL. “Apparently a simmering dispute had boiled over during the night, and this suspect came looking for Francisco. Figuring out the dispute should lead us to the shooter.”
Garcia had been discharged from Afghanistan about two weeks ago, LAPD Detective Juan Santa told the station; family members, however, said he had returned about three to four months ago, KCAL said.
Friends told KCAL that Garcia recently was accepted into the California Highway Patrol Academy and that a longtime dream of his was to enter law enforcement.