DENVER — A 16-year-old East High School student who was shot more than two weeks ago has died, a family spokesperson said Wednesday.
Denver Police said the boy, identified by family as Luis Garcia, was injured in a shooting on the afternoon of Feb. 13.
It happened around 2:30 p.m. at 17th Avenue and Esplanade, which is just north of East High School and south of City Park.
Garcia was taken to the hospital "with a very poor prognosis," police said at the time. On Wednesday, he passed away at the hospital. He was surrounded by family and friends in his final moments.
"Everyone was there," said Santos Garcia, Luis' older brother. "It's like a nightmare to hear all the people you love and you care about crying."
Santos described his brother as kind and hardworking. He was someone who put family first. Another important part of his life was soccer. His teammates have sold hundreds of bracelets that say, "End Gun Violence...#11 Luis Garcia", to raise money for the Garcia family. There's also a GoFundMe to help the family.
"He was the best, you know, loving, caring person that I have ever met," said Santos Garcia. "And I want people to know that he was strong."
His teammate, Clayton Thomas, said he's in shock and the reality of losing a close friend hasn't hit him yet.
"He was always one to stay after practice and he would get extra training, so that really showed what type of person he was to me," said Thomas.
The impacts of gun violence felt more real for Thomas after the death of Luis Garcia. He said students are fearful.
"It's always in the back of my mind that it could be me or another one of my friends or could be anyone at this school that can be shot next," said Thomas.
Friends and family are calling for change so that no one else has to say goodbye like they did on Wednesday.
"I want them to keep the kids safe," said Santos Garcia. "Do whatever they need to have: security, cops, to keep kids safe to push horrible people away from schools."
Luis Garcia was in a car when he was shot. Police said there was no indication that he fired any shots.
Two teens who were in a different car were taken into custody later that afternoon, but neither suspect faces charges specifically related to the shooting.
A 17-year-old boy was held for investigation of illegal possession of a handgun. A 16-year-old boy was held for investigation of auto theft and felony eluding. Police said both were Denver Public Schools students but did not attend East High School.
"It appears that they shot from a car into a car, and we don’t know what led to that," Denver Police Department Division Chief Joe Montoya said on the day of the shooting. "No indication that there was any kind of altercation between the two cars previous to the shooting, so we just don’t know at this point."
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