Family hopes Fargo shooting victims’ story helps others escape domestic violence
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The family of the two victims shot at a popular Mexican restaurant Wednesday are speaking out in hopes of saving just one life from domestic violence.
21-year-old Lucia Garcia and her 7-month-old son Dominique were gunned down just before 2 p.m. on May 18 at Plaza Azteca off of Veterans Blvd. in Fargo. Police say 24-year-old Malik Gill pulled the trigger before stealing a car and leading police on a high-speed chase in Clay County, where officials say he crashed and later shot himself.
“May God forgive him, but we are glad that he will no longer hurt her,” Jessica Lopez, Lucia’s sister said.
Immense blood loss and a bullet to a major artery near her clavicle has left Garcia fighting for her life. As of Thursday evening, she remains in critical, but stable condition at Sanford Hospital.
“We’re just trying to stay strong for my sister and her son,” Lopez said.
Lopez says while she was emotional to get the call about the shooting, she says wasn’t shocked. Her sister and Gill have been in a tumultuous relationship for nearly two years with multiple breakups, Lopez said.
“I think it just came to a point where we as a family felt like unless she decided to walk out of the relationship for good, there was not a lot that we could force her to do,” she said.
In April, charges were filed against Gill for domestic assault against Garcia. Court documents say he pushed Garcia to the ground and grabbed her by her throat. A warrant was still out for Gill’s arrest at the time of the shooting and a no-contact order was in place, but Lopez says the two were back together shortly after the incident.
“She would just make up with him and go along like nothing had ever happened,” she said.
“She is a good girl who made a mistake trying to build a family of her own,” Maite Garcia, Lucia’s mother said.
“We believe all she wanted was to be happy and to give her son a loving home,” Lopez added.
The family says they hope sharing Garcia’s story will help other domestic violence victims find the strength and courage to leave before it’s too late.
“You don’t want to go through what we’re going through or have your family go through what we’re going through,” Lopez said. “There’s really no words. Seeing her, it breaks our hearts.”
“I would give my life to see my daughter get off the bed,” Raul Garcia, Lucia’s father said.
While bullets hit him in his stomach, thigh and hand, Lopez says thankfully, 7-month-old Dominique is expected to make a full recovery after he has surgeries to repair two of his fingers.
Garcia is expected to undergo another surgery Friday, and her family says while they know she’s not out of the woods, they say Lucia is a fighter.