Francisco Garcia recently returned from serving in Afghanistan as part of the U.S. Army only to be shot and killed during a homecoming party that his girlfriend had thrown for him in Sylmar, Calif.
Garcia, 21, wrote on Facebook last week that he had been accepted by the California Highway Patrol Academy, but his life was cut short early Sunday morning at 2 a.m., noted KTLA (video below).
“The ironies are obvious,” said Los Angeles Police Department spokesperson Lt. Paul Vernon. “To survive as a soldier in an overseas conflict, only to be killed in your old neighborhood upon your return.”
The homecoming party began on Saturday night, but Garcia and his fellow partygoers decided to move up the street to a different location, reports CBS News.
An unidentified Hispanic man driving a dark SUV reportedly smashed a beer bottle and yelled at Garcia who was standing on a sidewalk.
The Hispanic man allegedly got a handgun from a white Toyota or Honda from a second suspect and shot Garcia who died on the scene.
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“It appears Francisco was the target of the attack,” added Lt. Vernon. “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.”