Alejandro Garcia has worked two jobs to support his family, both at Taco Bell restaurants in Los Angeles.
On Saturday night, Garcia, 41, was taking an extra shift at the Avalon Boulevard restaurant in southern LA, working alongside his 19-year-old son Carlos, who handled the drive-thru.
When a customer who had pulled up to the drive-thru window shortly before 11 p.m. tried to pay with a fake ticket, the teenager refused to accept it, said Karina Garcia De Meza, Garcia’s cousin .
The interaction ended in a shootout that left the father of three dead, shot dead in front of his eldest, authorities from the Los Angeles Police Department said.
When paramedics arrived in the 9900 block of Avalon Boulevard near Century Boulevard, Garcia was pronounced dead, LAPD officer Drake Madison said.
“It’s horrible and it’s crazy,” De Meza said. “He does his job and gets killed.
De Meza said his cousin was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and arrived in the United States almost 20 years ago. He was a hard worker, a good father, a good son and a devout Jehovah’s Witness, she added.
Relatives have opened a GoFundMe account for Garcia’s family – including his two other children, a 16-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter – as they organize a funeral.
“They are good people. They are not gang members, ”De Meza said of his cousin and his family. “He was an outgoing man and a joker. If he saw you walking down the street with your groceries, he would offer to help him. he passed him in the street.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Taco Bell said the company was “shocked and saddened” by the news of the fatal shooting.
“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the team member during this difficult time. We understand that the owner and operator of this location are working with local authorities in their investigation and have contacted the affected family directly to offer support, ”company officials said.
Police have little clue, saying only that the murder was committed by a man in a black sedan who fled the scene after the shooting, which did not appear to be linked to any gang.
LAPD chief Michel Moore on Sunday called the murder “insane” and called for the public’s help in identifying the shooter.
“There are those who know who did this” Moore said in a tweet. “Humanity demands that you move forward.”
City News Service contributed to this report.
Los Angeles Times