Lilly Garcia, age four, was killed Tuesday in a horrifying road New Mexico rage shooting while she was riding in the back seat of her family’s pickup truck after her dad and mom picked her up, along with her 7-year-old brother, from school in Albuquerque that afternoon. Now police say thy have one man in custody as new details of the sickening attack emerged on Wednesday.
Earlier Inquisitr coverage of the New Mexico road rage killing may be accessed at this link.
At that time, the names of the slain 4-year-old and her family has not been released. But by Wednesday afternoon, not only had the names of Lilly Garcia and her father Alan been made public, but other family members had created a GoFundMe page. Initially, the page was set up to raise money for Lilly’s funeral, but a local funeral home quickly stepped in to donate its services with no charge. A Facebook #JusticeForLilly hashtag also appeared on Wednesday.
Police took one man into custody at about 3:45 p.m. local time — 5:45 p.m. Eastern — Wednesday afternoon, on Central Avenue near Sunset in Albuquerque, according to a report on TV station KRQE. Police are characterizing the man not as a suspect, but as a “person of interest,” and they say that detaining the man, believed to be in his 20s or 30s, does not conclude the investigation.
According to a report in The Albuquerque Journal, police received a tip about the potential suspect and set up surveillance outside a home where the believed they would find him. They watched as he got into a green Lexus sedan, then followed him until pulling hm over in a parking lot.
He was taken into custody without incident.
As of Wednesday evening, Albuquerque police were still looking for the vehicle that they believe was being driven in the road rage attack — though they say they have a good idea of a where the vehicle is stored and would obtain a search warrant to retrieve it, according to a CNN report.
“We have at least two search warrants we need to serve in order to gather enough evidence to take him from person of interest to suspect. Once those warrants are served and we gather the appropriate evidence, we will make his identity available as quickly as possible,” said Albuquerque police spokesperson Tanner Tixier.
Tixier added that police were not yet ready to say “we have our guy.”
Alan Garcia was driving his family home on the westbound side of Interstate 40 when some sort of road rage incident ensued with another vehicle on the road, police said, an incident involving the two vehicles repeatedly cutting each other off.
Then the driver of the second vehicle — who police say was the only occupant of that car — pulled alongside Garcia’s pickup and began firing into the vehicle. According to police, Alan Garcia reported hearing multiple shots fired. Police say they still don’t know how many shots were fired, but only Lilly Garcia was struck by a bullet.
Police described the suspect vehicle as a “sportier” model red or maroon Toyota Camry with darkly tinted windows and a “spoiler” on the rear of the car, which has University of New Mexico license plates complete with the school’s logo.
The described the alleged shooter as a darkly complected white or Hispanic man with short hair and a thin, neatly trimmed goatee. He was wearing a black shirt with gold lettering, they said.
The road rage shooting of the four-year-old girl has shaken the city of Albuquerque, with police chief Gorden Eden vowing, “We won’t give up until (the shooter) is found.”
“It really tears at you when an innocent child is harmed or loses her life,” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said. “The community can pray and keep the family in their thoughts and prayers. We need to send a strong message that we’re not putting up with this.”
Authorities in New Mexico said they expected to release further details on the road rage killing of Lilly Garcia later Wednesday night.
[Featured Image via Lilly’s Memorial Fund GoFundMe Page]