Joshua Garcia Tells KFYO News Why He Created a GoFundMe Page for ‘West’ Garza, Discusses Family Strife Before Shooting [KFYO Exclusive]
Monday evening, just over 24 hours after the fatal shooting of Orestes "West" Garza, the son of the admitted triggerman spoke with KFYO News.
Fifty-five-year-old Pete Garcia, Jr. turned himself in to Levelland Police hours after shooting West Garza at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church in the 2300 block of Broadway on Sunday, February 7, in Lubbock.
Garza was in a relationship with Garcia's ex-wife, Judy.
Joshua Garcia is the son of Pete and Judy Garcia. In a wide-ranging interview with KFYO News, he recounted how his family was close with the Garza family and how Sunday's fatal shooting played into a larger picture of familial strife. He also explained why he created a now-deleted GoFundMe page for West Garza.
"I've known the Garza family since I was in diapers," Garcia told KFYO. "West played in the church band in the church I attended from when I was a kid until I graduated. The Garza family.... his sister showed me my first chords on guitar. I was in a band with [West's] son Ryan for a couple of years... The Garzas are family. Regardless of all the terrible stuff that has happened lately, I still consider them family."
Joshua then recounted how some of his prior actions contributed to the strife between the families. "I had to let go of all the hate in my heart because I didn't even recognize myself for a little bit. I ruined my relationships and it was a bad thing," he said.
"I got into a physical altercation with [West] at his house. And I left him in the hospital. I ruined everything around me. From that day, I stopped talking to my mom, and that was in October. I spent Thanksgiving without her, Christmas without her, her birthday. I didn't call or tell her Happy Birthday, and that was in early January."
Joshua continued his story, talking about how he recently found Christianity and recalling a recent conversation he had with his father.
"I was talking to my dad about this whole situation, 'We needed to change our motives. If we're going to call ourselves Christians, we're pointing our fingers at them, calling them non-Christians, but going and beating people up, and being hypocrites.' That's wasn't cool," he said.
Monday morning, Joshua Garcia, had created a GoFundMe page to help with West Garza's funeral expenses. By 7 p.m, he had pulled it offline after not receiving support from the Garza family.
Garcia explained why he had created the GoFundMe page: "I wanted to make it to where the Garza family had zero cost."
"Because this was a senseless act (of violence) done by family, and I feel like it's my part, not their part (the Garza family), to have to dig in their pockets to bury their family member. I felt it in my heart that I should be the one to just bridge the gap and make the peace," Garcia explained.
I wanted to make it to where the Garza family had zero cost.
Joshua Garcia said he was able to speak to his father Pete on Monday between him being moved from the Hockley County Jail to the Lubbock County Jail.
"He told me he was in a very, very bad spot last night. That he feels like if could 'wake up' it would all be gone," the younger Garcia said, continuing: "I understand, that given the right time, under the right pressure, in the right moment, anyone is capable of anything. I'm not saying that it's okay, and I don't condone that."
While Pete Garcia, Jr.'s was in custody in the Hockley County Jail, his bond was set at $1 million He has since been transferred to the Lubbock County Jail, with no bond currently set.
You can listen to the complete interview with Joshua Garcia in the YouTube video above.