Vigil held for Benicia teen killed responding to online car ad

A large crowd gathered in Benicia on Sunday to honor the memory of a 19-year-old who was shot and killed on Thursday in Fairfield.

Michael Lopretta was killed during what Fairfield police are describing as an online car purchase gone wrong.

Lopretta was allegedly lured to the city by an ad for a car he had found on the site OfferUp. 

On Friday, the Fairfield Police Department's Investigation Division arrested a 24-year-old San Pablo woman, Kamaria Strange. 

Strange was booked into the Solano County Jail on suspicion of homicide, police said. 

No other details were provided about this business exchange. 

Lopretta’s grandfather says cars had become a passion for the teen and that his father was in the car business.

"He was in that stage where he was just finally just starting to get his feet on the ground," Jeffrey Shutt said of his grandson. 

Lopretta graduated from Benicia High School this year and enjoyed history. His family says he had been expressing interest in the idea of becoming a teacher. He also loved cooking, and worked at a local restaurant. Friends say wherever he went, people were drawn to him.

"He always had love for people, people that he didn’t even know, he showed love to," his friend, Anthony Guillen said. "You shouldn’t have to bury, or have to cremate your brother, your best friend." 

His infectious personality, drawing a large and diverse crowd from the community on Sunday. 

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"When it happened I thought of my inner circle and how it was going to affect them, and I had no idea of the ripple effect of so many people that Michael came across in his life who just adored him, and he loved his friends, and his family, and this town, and the Giants," said Jessica Treat, Lopretta's mother. 

Police are continuing to investigate the shooting.

In the wake of the shooting, police are reminding the community that when conducting sales or purchases of items from a private individual, it's best to conduct the actual transaction in a public place. 

The City of Fairfield Police Department offers a Safe Exchange Zone for residents to make online purchases in a monitored area. The zone is in the parking adjacent to the police station at Kentucky and Jackson streets.

There are two designated parking spaces under 24-hour surveillance.