Fairfield devastated after Garcia shooting

September 2, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Those closest to Matt Garcia are stunned by the shooting. Dozens of his friends gathered outside City Hall Tuesday afternoon, praying for comfort and strength.

An impromptu funeral service was held at City Hall, where 22-year-old Garcia was the youngest councilman ever elected.

"All the kids you see here, we all grew up together. He was friends with everybody. It's just sad," says Christopher Gregory, friend.

Garcia was sworn into office just last November with a desire to address issues facing his generation.

He just wanted to better himself and everybody around him and he actually cared about the youth around him," says friend Thelma Jiminez.

Garcia was instrumental in getting a new teen center build.

In a recent blog, the young councilman expressed "there are people who don't support anything you ever do, but if you prove to them you can, they can still hate."

Police don't have a motive in the murder, but residents and police say that violence is on the rise

"I wouldn't necessarily say it's just gangs, I would say just crime in general," says resident Tiffany Harkness.

Garcia is a person who had family members that were caught up in the gang life, but he decided to turn the other way. He was student body president of his high school and homecoming king.

Jeff Gammon was one of Garcia's favorite teachers. He says Garcia came back twice last year to talk to students about staying on track.

"It's a shock Yeah, there's gunfire here, and murders here, but when you murder a fellow who has so much to live for, it comes as a shock and the community is going to miss Matt," says Gammon.

Though the teen center, in which Garcia was instrumental in building, is named after another person, there is now a push to add his name to the center as well.

Tip Hotlines:
Fairfield Police Department 24hr tip line: (707) 428-7790
Solano County Crimestoppers: (707) 644-7867


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