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News Release

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Media Relations

Homecoming Ends in Murder of Veteran NR14426pv

November 11, 2014

Update:  The suspect involved in the below incident has been identified as 18-year-old Vincent Estrada, a Sylmar resident.  Estrada was arrested on Tuesday, November 11, 2014, in the Sylmar area.  Estrada has been booked for 187(a) PC-Murder.  His bail is set to $1,000,000

  A 22-year-old army veteran, recently returned from Afghanistan, was shot and killed early this morning after a dispute erupted outside a party celebrating his homecoming.

“The ironies are obvious,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, commanding officer of the Mission Detective Division.  “To survive as a soldier in an overseas conflict, only to be killed in your old neighborhood upon your return.”

A proud and happy girlfriend had given a party for Francisco Garcia on Dronefield Street in Sylmar, Saturday night, November 8.  The gathering at the girlfriend’s home carried over into Sunday morning, just before 2 AM, when the partygoers decided to move the party up the street.

Francisco was standing on the west sidewalk, north of Astoria Street, when two cars stopped northbound.  A Hispanic man exited a dark SUV, smashed a beer bottle on the ground and yelled at Francisco across the street.  The man walked to a white Toyota or Honda behind the SUV and retrieved a handgun from an occupant, then started shooting.

Francisco was shot and died at the scene.  “It appears Francisco was the target of the attack,” Lt. Vernon said.  “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.”

Detectives do not believe the occupants of the SUV or the white car had been at the party earlier, but came from another location.

Detectives interviewed several witnesses at the scene and collected evidence, including several bullet casings.  No one else was injuring in the shooting.

Anyone with information is urged to call Det. Efren Gutierrez, Mission Homicide Unit, at
(818) 838-9948.  Anonymous tips can be called into Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477), or by texting 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Online tips may be placed at, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.