He Spent Nine Months Fighting For His Life Since The El Paso Shooting But Unfortunately He Became The 23rd Victim Of The Massacre
It’s been nine months since the El Paso Massacre – on August 3, 2019 – in which now 23 people lost their lives. Amid the global Coronavirus pandemic, El Paso and its Latino community struggle to rebuild their faith and their hope.
In the wake of the attack, much of the nation was grief-stricken as El Paso’s large Latino community came under attack by an alleged white nationalist. Now, the community is once again mourning the loss of one of their own as the massacre claims another victim – nine months later.
A victim of the attack died in the hospital nearly nine months after the massacre.
In a statement, Del Sol Medical Center’s CEO said, “After a nearly nine-month fight, our hearts are heavy as we report Guillermo ‘Memo’ Garcia, our last remaining patient being treated from the El Paso shooting, has passed away.”
“His courage, his strength and his story have touched many lives, including those of our caregivers, who tirelessly fought with him and for him every step of the way,” the statement continued. “We are grieving with his family and with our community.”
His wife Jessica, who was also shot, said in a statement to KDBC-TV, “Last night at 11:22 we lost a warrior, but gained an angel. He fought long and hard, with the help of all his troops he won many battles but lost the war.”
“We would like to ask the community to continue to lift Memo in prayer and allow us to grief this tremendous loss, we are asking for privacy during this time,” Garcia said.
Memo and his wife Jessica had been in the Walmart parking lot fundraising for their daughter’s football team.
The family had set up a lemonade stand in the Walmart parking lot to help raise money for their daughter’s local soccer team. Memo was shot twice in the leg and once in the back as he protected his two children, who were also there. Jessica had been shot three times in both legs; the couple’s children were not struck.
One week after the shooting, Jessica Garcia rose from her wheelchair to deliver an emotional speech from across from the courthouse where the suspected attacker was being kept and decrying the racism that apparently motivated the attack.
“Racism is something I always wanted to think didn’t exist. Obviously, it does,” she said.
The shooter was an alleged white nationalist who specifically targeted the Latino community of El Paso.
The FBI is investigating the shooting as an act of domestic terrorism and a possible hate crime. The shooting has been described as the deadliest attack on Latinos in modern American history.
According to CNN, the shooter drove more than 10 hours to the store, located near the Mexican border, specifically to find and kill Latinos. Officials believe he was the person who wrote a racist, xenophobic manifesto posted online minutes before the massacre, in which he warned about a “Hispanic invasion” of Texas.
A relative of one of the victims told the El Paso Times that the shooter was mainly looking for Hispanic shoppers to gun down. There are reports from white and Black customers that the gunman let them leave, so he could target Latino shoppers.
Memo’s family plans a proper memorial but given the social distancing rules in-place that will be held at a later date.
The family is planning a proper memorial once the Coronavirus pandemic passes.
“When the pandemic and social distancing orders pass we will have a proper memorial and mass, where the community can pay their respects to an El Paso warrior!”
In the meantime, a vigil for Guillermo Garcia has been planned for Monday, with attendees being asked to remain in their vehicles and “demonstrate our love and honor for Memo by turning on our headlights”, instead of candles.
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