EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — More than eight months after being shot multiple times in the parking lot of the Cielo Vista Walmart on Aug. 3, girls soccer coach Guillermo “Memo” Garcia has died.
Garcia’s death marks the 23rd person to die as a result of the Aug. 3 mass shooting.
The announcement was made by Luis Calvillo, another soccer coach for EP Fusion who was also shot that day. “I would like to take this time to let everyone know that my dear friend Memo Garcia has been called to heaven. On behalf of Jessica Coca Garcia and with her permission, I would like to ask everyone to keep her and her kids in your prayers,” Calvillo said.
Garcia, also known as “Tank,” had been in ICU at Del Sol Medical Center since the shooting.
Del Sol Medical Center CEO David Shimp released a statement shortly after Garcia’s death, reading in part, “after a nearly nine-month fight, our hearts are heavy as we report Guillermo “Memo” Garcia, our last remaining patient being treated from the El Paso shooting, has passed away.”
He goes on to say, “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 EP Fusion soccer team was hit especially hard during the shooting. The group, comprised of 20 girls in the “Under 12” division, were outside the Walmart selling snacks to fundraise for their upcoming season.
As people scattered in the chaos, the five parents of girls on the team were shot. Four of them had to be hospitalized, including Garcia’s wife, Jessica, and Calvillo. Calvillo’s father, Jorge Calvillo, was shot and killed in front of the snack stand.
Memo Garcia leaves behind his wife and two children.
Also giving his condolences to the family a Locomotive FC player, who met Jessica and the children at a fundraising campaign after the shooting. Omar Salgado saying the news of Garcia’s death was a shock.
“When I first saw it I didn’t believe it because when I first saw her and when I saw her again at the stadium at one of our games she seemed very optimistic,” said Omar Salgado a Locomotive FC Player. “It seemed to me that her husband was going to make it and then I hadn’t really heard some news from him so to hear that nine months later, it’s a shock and it’s certainly very sad.”
Salgado adding that Garcia left his mark on El Paso’s soccer community and that Locomotive FC will be there for the Garcia family.
“We’ll be there with them not only me but the entire staff at Locomotive, everyone on that team will help in any way that we can,” said Salgado. “You know hopefully we can push them to continue to love this sport and to play for their father.”
The family asks for privacy during this difficult time. A GoFundMe was previously set up for the family and is still active if you would like to donate.
A memorial in honor of Memo Garcia’s life will be held at a later date after social distancing guidelines are lifted.