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Luis Garcia’s father speaks out for the first time about losing his son

DENVER — For the first time, Luis Garcia’s father spoke publicly Friday about the unimaginable loss of his 16-year-old son, who was shot and killed near Denver East High School in February.

Our partners in the Denver Post reported that the student’s family accuses Denver Public Schools, district and city leaders of negligence in failing to protect students — including by removing armed police from the school. An attorney representing the family made the allegations in a legal notice preceding an expected wrongful death lawsuit.

When we talk to the police, we ask why there is no security in the school. They told us that the school board did not want to give out any tickets to students who were selling or using drugs. They take care of these children, but who takes care of our children? Kids who go to school, that work, who actually do sports, the good kids. Who takes care of them? Luis’ father Santos Garcia said on Friday.

Luis Garcia was shot and killed while inside a car parked near the school on the afternoon of February 3. 13. He was taken to the hospital with a “very poor prognosis” and died at Denver Health after a 17-day fight for his life.

The day he was shot, after surgery, the supervisor, Dr. Alex Marrero, a stranger to us, one of the people I think had let my brother down, came to the hospital and asked to see him, “What’s wrong with that?” He had even to ask what he was entitled to, When even his brothers were not allowed to see him.It was the last time I personally saw him appear in front of my brother, Jovana Garcia, Luis’s older sister, said on Friday.

Two days after Garcia’s death, students walked out of East High School and headed to the Colorado State Capitol to demand change, speaking with lawmakers about what they’d like to do.

Then during a city council meeting in February. 16., a group of students called for enhanced cameras and security measures, school resource officers, and limited access to campuses during school hours.

Two weeks later, a handful of students sat through hours of contentious debate at a Colorado Senate committee hearing to testify in favor of a bill that would add a three-day waiting period to the purchase of firearms in the state.

Just over a month later, two East Denver deans were shot at the school.

“The worst part is that weeks after my brother’s death, there was an accident where two adults were injured. Wounded, not dead. Then they wanted a change. Was Luis’ life not enough?” Jovana said.

Denver Public Schools released the first draft of its School Safety Plan at the beginning of May, and submitted an initial proposal to the School Resource Personnel and Gun Detection Technology for DPS Schools.

DPS will collect feedback until May 21st, release the second draft on May 26th, and then collect feedback until June 4th. The plan will be finalized on June 23 and will be reviewed by the Board of Education on June 30.

In serving the 180-Day Notice of Litigation, “We’re actually looking for three things: Action, Answers, and Accountability. Answers – How could this happen. Action – What is the Denver Public Schools, School Board going to do in the future to avoid a tragedy like this?” Accountability – Well, I guess that’s self-explanatory.The Garcia family wants to hold accountable those they believe are responsible for the killing of Luis Garcia in front of East High School, Matthew Barringer, the attorney representing the Luis family, said Friday.

Above all, the Garcia family maintains that they do not want any other family to go through this.

“Life without him would never be the same. How can we be completely happy knowing he’s gone? We’ve gone from sharing a room our whole lives to not having our brother at all. It’s just not fair. How can I even think about healing or trying to be okay with knowing?” That this could happen again, when there could be another family in our situation?” Jovana said Friday.


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