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.
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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.