Army Veteran Back From Afghanistan Shot And Killed At Party
Veteran's Day weekend turned tragic in the Valley early this morning, as a 21-year-old Army vet at a party in Sylmar was shot and killed in the street.Francisco Garcia, who got back this summer from serving in Afghanistan, was partying at his girlfriend's house on Dronfield Street, according to City News Service. He and other partygoers went outside the house and into the street around 2 a.m., where two cars stopped and a man jumped out of one car to confront Garcia.
The man grabbed a gun from the other car and started shooting, according to police. Garcia was shot and killed at the scene. Police believe the young vet was the target due to a dispute with the men that occurred before the party.
"The ironies are obvious," LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon told City News Service. "To survive as a soldier in an overseas conflict, only to be killed in your neighborhood upon your return."
Garcia recently posted on Facebook that he applied to join the California Highway Patrol and was accepted, KTLA reports.
Detectives collected shell casings at the scene. Police asked anyone with knowledge of the crime to call the LAPD's Mission station at (818) 838-9948.
Update: Police now say that, though they originally thought the party was a homecoming party, now they don't think it was, and that Garcia got home from Afghanistan this summer. This post has been edited to reflect that.