Francisco Garcia, 21, an Army veteran who was shot to death at his homecoming party in Sylmar, never served overseas, contrary to initial published reports.
Garcia, discharged from the Army in July, had been reported to have returned from Afghanistan just before he was killed, but those police reports were incorrect, according to Julie Halpin, a spokeswoman for Fort Drum in New York. Halpin stated that Garcia had served at Fort Drum from June 2012 to July 2014 as a cannon crew member.
LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon from LAPD’s Mission station explained that police did not confirm Garcia’s service record because that information was not relevant to the crime or investigation, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Police released a statement in which they said that Garcia’s girlfriend made the homecoming party, and when the party moved up the street, he was shot because of a “simmering dispute.”
Garcia had only recently become engaged, reported the New York Daily News. He was standing near the curb when Vincent Estrada, 18, of Sylmar, allegedly exited an SUV, smashed a beer bottle, retrieved a pistol from another car and shot Garcia.
Police stated the shooting was the result of a ‘tagger crew’ turf war in Sylmar. Estrada was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of killing Garcia.