Nearly nine months after a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, a 23rd victim has died. Guillermo “Memo” Garcia died at the Del Sol Medical Center over the weekend, according to CBS affiliate KDBC-TV.
“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. We are grieving with his family and with our community,” the medical center’s CEO David Shimp said.
Garcia and his wife Jessica had been at the Walmart on August 3 selling lemonade to raise funds for a local soccer team for which one of their children played, according to KDBC-TV. Garcia 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.
“Last night at 11:22 we lost a warrior, but gained an angel,” Jessica said in a statement to KDBC-TV. “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. “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!”
The attack last year had targeted Latinos at the border city in Texas. The Associated Press reported that a week after the shooting, Jessica had rose from her wheelchair to hold a speech across the road from the county jail where the suspected gunman was being detained.
“Racism is something I always wanted to think didn’t exist. Obviously, it does,” she said.
Patrick Crusius, 21, was charged earlier this year with 90 counts under federal hate crime and firearms laws for his role in the shooting authorities said was aimed at scaring Hispanics into leaving the U.S. The Walmart is popular with shoppers from nearby Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, just on the other side of the Rio Grande from El Paso.