Investigators and the mother of an 18-year-old high school senior killed in a shooting in Monrovia that also left a 17-year-old boy in critical condition appealed to the public Thursday for help identifying and apprehending the gunman.
The shooting occurred at 11:36 p.m. April 22 in the 100 block of West Cypress Avenue, Monrovia police said.
Officers responding to a shots-fired call found both victims with gunshot wounds to the torso.
Oscar Garcia, the second youngest of six children, was pronounced dead at the scene and the teen was taken to a hospital. The 17-year-old has since been released.
Sheriff’s detectives released a sketch of the suspect at a news conference, during which Garcia’s mother, Guadalupe Castaneda, tearfully appealed for justice while recalling her son as a kind young man.
“It’s been so hard for me and my family. We miss Oscar,” she said, adding that her son “would always go the extra mile to care for others” and “didn’t deserve to end this way.”
Garcia “enjoyed taking pictures and looked forward to attending a local community college, where he planned to study photography and advance his hobby into a professional career,” according to Deputy Lillian Peck of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau. “His interests were diverse and ranged from the quietness of photography to the fast-paced action of sports. He was an athlete who enjoyed playing as part of team in high school soccer, and as an individual, practicing skilled moves on his skateboard at a local park.”
A girl who was with Garcia and the wounded juvenile was targeted but not struck by gunfire, according Peck.
The three were hanging out in the garage of the girl’s home, passing a Saturday night together, when “an unknown man unexpectedly approached the door,” Peck said.
“He pointed a handgun at them and after a brief verbal exchange, the stranger fired several rounds at each one in the trio of friends,” Peck said.
The suspect ran southbound toward an alley behind the house and out of view, she said.
Detectives with the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau are assisting Monrovia police in the shooting investigation, according to the deputy.
The gunman was described as 20 to 25 years old, about 6 feet tall with a medium build, light complexion, brown eyes, short black hair and a goatee. At the time of the shooting he was wearing dark clothing and a baseball cap with an unknown logo on the front.
Anyone with information about the shooting or who possibly recognizes the suspect from the sketch was urged to call Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau Detective Scott Matlock or Sergeant Ken Perry at (323) 890-5500.
Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477). All tips can be made anonymously.
–City News Service