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R.I.P. Edwin Garcia

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Teen Shot, Killed In Denny's Parking Lot

Police: Friends Playing Joke On Teen When Gun Went Off


POSTED: 6:58 pm EST January 9, 2006

UPDATED: 7:11 pm EST January 9, 2006


HIALEAH, Fla. -- Hialeah police said a South Florida teen has died after friends pulling a practical joke accidentally shot him in a Denny's restaurant parking lot Sunday.


Edwin Garcia, 17, died after being shot just a few feet from where his family was enjoying a meal Sunday.


Images: Police Say Shooting An Accident


"It's a tragedy. I have lost half of my heart," Antonio Garcia, Edwin's father, said in Spanish.


Police said Garcia had gone into the parking lot to see a gun two of his friends, Yandy Lopez and Ariel Valle, had.


"In an attempt to scare him or play a practical joke on him, Yandy Lopez pointed the gun at him and pulled the trigger. The weapon went off and struck him one time in the neck," said Mark Overton, of the Hialeah police.


Police said Valle, who is home on leave from the U.S. Marines, and Lopez will be charged with manslaughter.


Family members, friends and classmates from Hialeah High School have set up a makeshift memorial with candles and flowers in the Denny's parking lot.


"They took my son's life for something they shouldn't have done," Antonio Garcia said.


Grief counselors were on hand Monday at Hialeah High School, where Garcia was a sophomore. The school observed a moment of silence to reflect on the life of a teen many called a friend.


"He was a funny guy. He always made everybody laugh, always smiling," said Ashley Velasquez, a student at Hialeah High.


Garcia had two brothers, who are some comfort to his grieving father.


"It was an accident , but it's not right. They took the life of my son, and I'm never going to see him again," Garcia said.


Police said Lopez and Valle had taken the magazine out of the gun and thought it was empty, but it was not.

Copyright 2006 by NBC6.net. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed




I only talked to him a few times, but he was a very nice person from my experience and what I heard. This is a very sad day for HHS and his family.


The "friends" just prove how f***ing retarded some people are.

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Shouldn't have even had the gun in the first place.


Not to be mean or anything but if he wouldn't have gone out into the parking lot to see the gun this wouldn't have even happened.


Even so, you don't point a gun at one of your so called "friends" EVER. Even if you are just joking around.


RIP, thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

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