Man Sentenced to Life in Prison in Pomona Drive-by Shooting That Killed 8-Year-Old

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Jonah Hwang is seen in an undated family photo.

Jonah Hwang is seen in an undated family photo.

A man found guilty of murder in a 2017 drive-by shooting that killed an 8-year-old boy in Pomona has been sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, officials announced Tuesday.

A jury in December deliberated less than two hours before finding Sengchan Houl, a 37-year-old Pomona man, guilty of one count of first-degree murder, two counts each of shooting at an occupied dwelling and negligent discharge of a firearm and one count of shooting from a motor vehicle.

According to authorities, Houl fired at a home in the 11000 block of West 11th Street around 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, 2018.

Eight-year-old Jonah Hwang was hit and later died. The victim had been visiting the residence with his parents for a church dinner, officials said.

Investigators determined that Houl opened fire at the home the month before, then again on March 7 and March 25. The residence had no occupants at those times, police said.

Officials have not released any information about a motive.

Hwang’s family described the boy, who was adopted from a Taiwanese orphanage less than three years before the deadly incident, as a talented soccer player who loved reading and going to church.

A family friend previously said that the Hwangs moved to Pomona to work with a local faith-based nonprofit that focused on the community and youth empowerment.

 

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