Guillermo ‘Memo’ Garcia: El Paso Walmart Shooting Victim Dies

El Paso Death

Getty Abel Valenzuela, El Paso local, meditates in front of the makeshift memorial for shooting victims at the Cielo Vista Mall Walmart in El Paso, Texas on August 8, 2019.

After nearly nine months in the hospital, Guillermo “Memo” Garcia died on Saturday from his injuries sustained during the shooting in El Paso last year, according to the El Paso Times. Garcia was the last patient in the hospital as a result of the mass shooting, which took place at a Walmart on August 3, 2019.

“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,” said the CEO of Del Sol Medical Center, David Shimp, in a statement, according to the New York Post. Garcia’s death brings the El Paso shooting death toll to 23.

Garcia Is Survived by His Wife and Children

“I would like to thank the community for all the love, support, and prayers,” said Garcia’s wife, Jessica, in a statement to KFOX14. “On behalf of the Garcia family, we would like to give the community the opportunity to pay their respects, but due to the current circumstances we feel that right now is not the right time.” Garcia is survived by his wife and their two children.

Garcia and his wife were selling lemonade outside the Walmart to raise money for their daughter’s soccer team when the gunman opened fire, according to NBC News. Both Garcia parents were hospitalized for their injuries. In the week following the shooting, Jessica stood up from her wheelchair to give a speech outside the jail where the suspect, Patrick Crusius, was in custody.

“Racism is something I always wanted to think didn’t exist. Obviously, it does,” Garcia said in her speech. “And I’m here to tell everybody, he may have paralyzed us for a little bit, but like me with my wounds, we’re going to get up and we’re going to fight back.”

Crusius was charged with federal hate crimes in October. A four-page manifesto published online minutes before the shooting has been linked to Crusius. The document includes anti-immigrant rhetoric aimed at the Hispanic population, according to the New York Times. The Aug. 3 shooting is considered the largest terrorist attack committed against the Latinx community in modern history.

Walmart Responded to El Paso Shooting By Imposing Stricter Background Checks & Discontinuing Sale of Some Ammunition

In response to the shooting, Walmart issued a public statement outlining changes to their store policies as they relate to guns and ammunition. In particular, the store promised to discontinue the sale of handguns and handgun ammunition in addition to rifle ammunition that can be used for military-style weapons. The company also established that, in states with “open-carry” laws, customers would not be allowed to bring weapons inside of Walmart or Sam’s Club, with exceptions provided for law enforcement officers. There are no new restrictions on those with conceal-carry permits.

“Finally, we encourage our nation’s leaders to move forward and strengthen background checks and to remove weapons from those who have been determined to pose an imminent danger,” the statement reads. “We do not sell military-style rifles, and we believe the reauthorization of the Assault Weapons ban should be debated to determine its effectiveness.”

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