Tustin: Family demands justice after homeless father shot and killed by police

Jessica De Nova Image
Sunday, August 29, 2021
Tustin: Family of man shot and killed by police demands justice
The family of a man shot and killed by Tustin police is demanding justice as they prepare for a second vigil in his honor.

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- The family of a man who was shot and killed by Tustin police held a second vigil in his honor Saturday and continued to demand justice.

The first vigil was held two weeks after the fatal Aug. 9 shooting.

The man killed by police was Luis Manuel Garcia. He was Christian Garcia's uncle.

"He was an innocent person that was struggling in life, and that did not give the officers a reason to shoot him or take away his life," Christian Garcia said.

It happened just after 10 a.m. outside the Saddleback Mobilodge.

On the day of the shooting, Sgt. Matthew Nunley of the Tustin Police Department told Eyewitness News that the agency received a call about a man acting suspiciously. When three officers responded, a man jumped out of a bush with something in his hand.

"A male subject popped out of the bushes at them, holding an object," Nunley said. "An officer-involved shooting occurred."

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Later that night in a press release by the Tustin Police Department, there was no mention of the man holding anything.

The day after the shooting, several people living at the mobile home park told Eyewitness News they heard complaints about a man with a knife living behind this bush, but no one was willing to go on camera.

Christian Garcia said his uncle, a father of three, struggled with mental health illness but was not aggressive.

"Yes, he was homeless," Christian Garcia said. "No, he did not bother no one. No, he was not violent. He was not the type to carry weapons or nothing."

The heartbroken family seeks justice. Kiara Garcia said officers had other options before shooting her uncle.

"They could've used other forms of protection -- Tasers, pepper sprays," Kiara Garcia said. "If there's three there and one got taken down, there would've been two more to help the police."

On Friday, the shooting was still under investigation by the police department, the Orange County district attorney's office and the Department of Justice.

Meanwhile, the family was raising money on GoFundMe to cover funeral costs and planned to take legal action, asking anyone who was there when police opened fire to contact them.

"I consider it murder," Christian Garcia said. "Just because you have a badge doesn't give you the right to take someone's life."

A vigil in honor of Luis Manuel Garcia was held Saturday in the same place where he was shot.