Last August, an act of violence rocked the El Paso community. A shooter traveled into the city on a vicious, racist mission. It brought him to a Walmart location where he opened fire on those inside. Now, 9 months later, the last patient still receiving treatment at the Del Sol Medical Center passed away. The death of Guillermo “Memo” Garcia marks the 23rd victim of the El Paso Walmart shooting.
Garcia passed away on Saturday after struggling to survive his wounds. He took a bullet to his spine, and two more to his leg. His wife said he fought hard, but ultimately lost the war. She also asked for solitude in her family’s time of grieving. “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,” a statement released by Jessica Coca Garcia, Guillermo’s wife, read.
However, it also mentioned plans for a memorial service. Though, such a gathering will await the end of quarantine efforts, she said in her statement.
On August 3, 2019, the initial incident killed 20 people on the day. Then, two more died the following two days. Garcia held on for months before ultimately succumbing to the damage the bullets wrought.
The shooter was identified as Patrick Crusius, a white supremacist terrorist. When investigators inquired as to his motivations, he stated simply that he wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible. The weapon reportedly used by the terrorist was a WASR-10 rifle, a civilian-grade version of the popular AK-47 rifle.
He released a manifesto before launching his attack, reciprocating much of the hate rhetoric exhibited by other white supremacist shooters in recent years.
Many cite the rhetoric of President Trump for inspiring such racist sentiments, considering his comparison of migrants to criminals and rapists, as well as various order and initiatives undertaken by his presidency. While he denounced the attack, three days later he stated he opposed all hate groups, and incorrectly included antifa, a government protest group, within the category.
Crusius remains in police custody, facing federal hate crime and state capital murder charges.
Guillermo “Memo” Garcia died after protecting his family as they sold lemonade to raise funds for a local soccer team. His wife also took 3 bullets to her legs that day. Thanks to their efforts, their children walked away without physical injuries.