Alejandro Garcia, a 41-year-old Taco Bell employee, was fatally shot Saturday night in a car south of Los Angeles, dying in front of his 19-year-old son, who was working that evening with his father.
That’s what Garcia’s cousin, Nancy del Sol, said as she fought back tears as she spoke to reporters on Sunday.
“The way he died, in front of his son, was a really traumatic experience for my nephew,” Del Sol said.
Authorities and family members say the shooting occurred after Garcia refused to serve a customer who tried to pay for his meal at Century and Avalon’s with a fake $20 bill.
Authorities believe the employee was killed because of a false invoice. Now they are looking for the killer. Lauren Coronado reports for Today in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 9, 2022.
“My nephew was nearby, so he shut the window, but the shots got in,” Del Sol said. “He was shot in the heart and that’s what killed him.”
Residents of South Los Angeles and their family members are shocked and in love after the accident.
“He has three children,” said his cousin, Carina Garcia de Mesa. “The youngest is five years old. And this morning, you walk around with a picture of him because he never came home.”
His family said Alejandro Garcia worked the night shift at Taco Bell only one night a week.
“He wasn’t doing bad things outside,” Del Sol said. “He was a hardworking, family man, and just to die was horrible.”
Another Taco Bell employee, who did not want to be identified, said when she came to work Sunday morning, she couldn’t believe one of her co-workers had been killed.
“It’s very sad,” said the employee. “It hurts not to see him anymore. To see his son come to work.”
Taco Bell issued a statement in the wake of the tragic shooting.
“We are shocked and saddened to hear what happened,” the company said. “Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the team member at this difficult time. We understand that the owner and operator of this site is working with local authorities in their investigation and has reached out directly to the affected family to provide support.”
The South Los Angeles location has a number of security cameras visible, and investigators combed the store’s interior overnight, gathering evidence that loved ones hope will lead to the arrest of the person who took Alejandro Garcia from them.
“I want justice for the family, I want justice for everyone in the community, so these people won’t be out there simply killing people while they’re doing their job,” García de Meza said.
Police are asking anyone with information about the shooting to contact them immediately.
“We can’t feel this violence,” Los Angeles Police Chief Michael Moore said on Twitter Sunday, calling the killing meaningless. “Someone knows who did this. Humanity requires you to step forward.”