A youth soccer coach who had been hospitalized since last year’s mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, has died.
Guillermo “Memo” Garcia died Saturday evening at the Del Sol Medical Center in El Paso, the hospital and Miriah Soliz, an attorney representing the family in a civil lawsuit against the retailer, told CNN.
He was the last remaining patient at the hospital from the August 3 shooting, the hospital said.
“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,” David Shimp, the hospital’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.
“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.”
Garcia is now the 23rd victim of the August mass shooting. He was outside the store with his wife Jessica and their two children, fundraising for the El Paso Fusion Soccer Club – his daughter’s soccer team that he helped coach – when a gunman opened fire, killing 22 people and injuring dozens more.
The suspect, Patrick Crusius, remains in custody and has been indicted on 90 federal charges, including hate crimes, court documents show.
The Garcia family is among several families and individuals who sued Walmart, accusing the retailer of failing to provide adequate security to protect its customers. The lawsuit remains pending.
Garcia had undergone multiple surgeries since the shooting after at least one bullet hit his spine, according to family attorneys Robert Ammons and Patrick Luff.
He and his wife were shot multiple times “as their children watched in horror,” the attorneys had said. Jessica Garcia was hospitalized for injuries related to the shooting but was released.
Luis Calvillo, a friend of Garcia and another coach on the girls soccer team, wrote a brief message about Garcia’s passing.
“On behalf of Jessica Garcia and with her permission I would like to ask everyone to keep her and her kids on your prayers,” Calvillo wrote on Facebook. “Also if we can give her some time to herself and her family to grieve I will really appreciate it. I thank everyone for their support during this hard times.”