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Army Veteran Recently Home From Afghanistan Killed At Hometown Party

Francisco Garcia, 22, was shot and killed early Sunday morning outside his girlfriend's home in Sylmar, California. Police have not yet made any arrests in connection with his death.

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Los Angeles police announced on Veterans' Day that they had arrested a teen on suspicion of fatally shooting Francisco Garcia.

Vincent Estrada, an 18-year-old Sylmar resident, was arrested Tuesday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. He was booked on suspicion of murder and held in lieu of $1 million bond.

A 22-year-old Army veteran was killed early Sunday morning after a dispute outside a party in his hometown, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Francisco Garcia had recently returned from Afghanistan, according to police. His Facebook page indicates he arrived home about four months ago.

Police initially said the party Saturday night at his girlfriend's home was a homecoming party for Garcia. NBC later reported that it was not a party particularly thrown to celebrate Garcia's return to the U.S.

Around 2 a.m. Sunday, Garcias and others left his girlfriend's home to walk to another home in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood, police said.

Witnesses told police that two cars stopped across the street from Garcia, and a man got out. The man smashed a beer bottle and began yelling at Garcia, then retrieved a gun from the other car, police said.

Garcia was shot and died at the scene.

"The ironies are obvious," said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon in a statement. "To survive as a soldier in an overseas conflict, only to be killed in your old neighborhood upon your return."

Police believe Garcia knew the man who targeted him.

"Apparently, a simmering dispute had boiled over during the night, and this suspect came looking for Francisco," Vernon said. "Figuring out the dispute should lead us to the shooter."

As of Sunday afternoon, no arrests had been made. Friends told the Los Angeles Times Garcia had been working as a security guard since coming home, and he had this week been accepted into the California Highway Patrol academy.

Claudia Koerner is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

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