Police have arrested a man they believe is responsible for the murder of an 8-year-old boy who was killed in front of his parents and brother in a drive-by shooting in California last month.
Jonah Hwang was killed when a suspect opened fire on a Pomona home, striking the little boy in the head as he and his family gathered with others for a church-related dinner on February 20, officials said.
"The devastation that we feel from this loss is unfathomable," his family said in a statement after the murder of the child, who had been adopted three years earlier from Taiwan.
"He had an infectious smile and loved everyone and everything: Sports, wrestling with his dad, running, laughing, superheroes," the family said. "With his playful demeanor, he adapted almost immediately to life in the United States and became a full-blooded American in no time at all."
The home where Jonah was killed had been a target of a drive-by shooting before his death and saw two more after, but the residence was unoccupied during the other incidents, police said.
“Evidence suggests that all four of these shootings are related," Pomona Police Department Chief Paul Capraro said at a press conference Monday.
On Sunday, police arrested Sengchan Houl, who they said was driving the vehicle investigators believed was used in the four shootings.
Houl, 35, was also allegedly carrying the firearm used in the crimes, officials said.
A motive for the shootings was unclear.
"Mr. Houl does not appear to have an extensive criminal history," Capraro said. "We are researching to see if he has any ties to any criminal organizations."
The arrest served as a fraction of closure for a community mourning the loss of a little boy taken far too soon.
"Jonah was a light and joy in our household and we cannot imagine our family without him,” his family wrote on a GoFundMe page created after his death.
As of Tuesday, the site had raised nearly $60,000, far surpassing its original $10,000 goal and leaving Jonah’s family touched by the show of love and support, a relative wrote.
"The GoFundMe has well exceeded its initial goal, and with your kind donations they plan to create a scholarship fund in honor of Jonah to bless and give back to the children of Pomona," the page said.
“We hope that Jonah can continue to be a beacon of light in this city, and that he won't be forgotten because of the love of so many people that have made his light shine as brightly as the person he was,” his family wrote.
Houl is being held on $2 million bail. He is expected to appear in court Tuesday.