Local was left to die on street

first_imgPICO RIVERA – Minutes before he was stabbed to death, Richard Garcia was at his house celebrating his 47th birthday with family on Thursday night.Family members sang “Happy Birthday” to him and served a birthday cake, said Richard’s sister, Christine Garcia. “We told him we loved him and to be careful,” said Christine. “He said: `Careful is my middle name.’ He always said that.” What happened after that is a mystery, said detectives. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventGarcia often walked from his house to a bar near Pico Rivera Plaza on Rosemead Boulevard, and that was the route he took Thursday night. “He had a habit of going down there,” said his father, Aniceto Garcia. “He always walked by himself.” Fifteen minutes after leaving his house, at about 6:30p.m., witnesses noticed Richard on the ground in a parking lot at Pico Rivera Plaza, and thought he was having a seizure, said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detective Sgt. Dan McElderry. Paramedics called to the scene discovered that he had been stabbed twice, but thought the wounds were minor, said McElderry. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. “We don’t know where the incident took place because there’s no blood trail,” said McElderry. “We honestly don’t know what happened. The first time anybody saw anything was when he collapsed.” Family members at Richard’s home Friday said he was shy, a hard worker and had a deep voice and a hearty laugh. He graduated from El Rancho High School and joined the Army. When he was discharged, he came back to the home he grew up in, and had been there since. “He would give you the shirt off his back,” said Christine. “He would do everything to help anyone.” Christine said Richard usually woke up early every weekday morning to catch a bus to Anaheim, where he worked as a forklift driver. His Army training stuck with him and he always kept his room neat and spotless, said Christine. Richard’s goddaughter, Stella Gomez, said she always looked forward to seeing him. “When I would come to the house, he was the first person I would see,” said Gomez. “He would buy bags of candy for my kids. It’ll feel weird to come here and not see him.” As the family waits for answers, there is little consolation for the abrupt loss. “I’m in shock,” said Christine. “I’m trying to be strong for my kids.” Anyone with information about the crime is asked to call Sgt. McElderry at (323)890-5500. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3026160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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