El Paso victim dies after nine months in hospital

Guillermo Image copyright
Family handout/CBS

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Guillermo “Memo” Garcia was a local soccer coach who was shot while fundraising for the team

The last remaining patient to survive a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, last August has died, according to hospital officials and family.

Guillermo “Memo” Garcia coached a local football team and was shot while selling lemonade with his wife in order to fundraise for the team’s children.

His wife, who was also shot, said she “lost a warrior but gained an angel”.

The death toll in the 3 August attack, which officials say was a hate crime against Hispanics, now stands at 23.

“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 David Shimp, CEO of Del Sol Medical Center where Garcia was in hospital.

“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,” the statement continued. “We are grieving with his family and with our community.”

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Media caption‘My heart hurts on every level’

Garcia’s wife, Jessica Garcia, was shot three times in the leg as they tried to protect their two children. Their daughter, who was also there that day, played for the football club El Paso Fusion.

One week after the shooting, Jessica Garcia rose from her wheelchair to deliver an emotional speech from across from the courthouse where the suspected attacker was being kept, and decrying the racism that apparently motivated the attack.

A vigil for Guillermo Garcia has been planned for Monday, with attendees being asked to remain in their vehicles and “demonstrate our love and honour for Memo by turning on our headlights”, instead of candles.

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Media captionRoman’s friend died in the attack: ‘I wish the killer had known the real El Paso’

Mourners have been also been asked to wear blue, which was Garcia’s favourite colour.

Investigators say the 21-year-old attacker drove for 11 hours to target the Walmart, which is near the border with Mexico and is popular with residents of the nearby city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico.

He has been charged with capital murder and federal hate crimes after a manifesto reportedly written by him was discovered online. He has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

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