At a 5 a.m. news conference today, the LAPD announced it had captured a man suspected in the shooting death of 4-year-old Roberto Lopez Jr. The boy and a sister had been walking near their Echo Park home three days ago when a man on the street opened fire on a car. A single bullet fatally struck Lopez in the torso. The L.A. Times' Web site reports that Howard Astorga, a 25-year-old parolee and alleged gang member, is in custody in lieu $1 million bail.
The boys' Court Street neighborhood, located South of the Hollywood Freeway, was shocked by his death and the Echo Park Chamber of Commerce is collecting donations for the Lopez family. A charitable fund for the family has also been established through Wells Fargo Bank and L.A. City Councilman Ed Reyes' office. Info: (213) 473-7001.