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Michael Soto, 17

Michael Soto, a 17-year-old Latino, was shot and killed Monday, March 26, in the 9100 block of Painter Avenue in South Whittier, according to Los Angeles County coroner's records.

The shooting occurred Monday afternoon near a continuation school. Paramedics took Soto to Whittier Presbyterian Hospital in serious condition, and he was later pronounced dead.

A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department sergeant said early radio calls reported that Soto had been shot in the head, but coroner's records show he had several gunshot wounds to his body.

Hours after the shooting, a homeless man was apprehended in connection with the attack.

Eudiel Lopez, a 19-year-old Latino, was arrested about 5:45 p.m. in Whittier on suspicion of killing Soto, sheriff’s officials said. He was found down the street from where it occurred, authorities said.

Deputies also found a handgun that they believe might be the weapon used to kill Soto. Lopez is homeless but has ties to the Whittier area, authorities said.

Los Angeles County court records show that Lopez was arrested this year for possession of methamphetamines. He got out of jail March 18, eight days before the shooting.

Lopez is  being held in lieu of $2-million bail at Men's Central Jail in downtown L.A. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 24 at the Whittier Municipal Court.

Anyone with additional information about the incident is asked to contact the sheriff's homicide bureau at (323) 890-5500. Tipsters wishing to remain anonymous can call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

-- Paloma Esquivel

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