A 36-year-old illegal immigrant—who has been deported at least one from the United States—died on Monday during a police chase… after a 24-hour “reign of terror.”
“We have one man that essentially [has] been on a personal reign of terror,” said Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux, at a news conference discussing the incident.
Garcia, who had a long rap sheet of crimes, began his rampage at 1pm on Sunday when he shot a farm worker in Exter, who was unpacking a box of fruit. The worker, who has not been identified, is expected to recover from injuries.
Police believe that the shot farm worker was intended to distract police from Garcia’s real target: just minutes later, Garcia robbed a nearby convenience store—firing bullets into the ceiling and demanding $2,000 in cash.
Garcia then fled the scene—turning up hours later in nearby Tulare, when he shot a Motel 6 guest in the arm and chest.
“She had made eye contact with the subject and he had followed her to her parking spot, where he got out of the car and for an unbeknownst reason began firing at her vehicle,” explained Tulare interim Police Chief Matt Machado. The guest’s wounds were not life-threatening.
Not content to call it a night, Garcia then shot up a Shell gas station in Pixley at 1:30am on what was now Monday morning.
He then appeared an hour later at another gas station in Visalia, where he killed customer Rocky Jones, 51.
“It appears his rampage and his acts of violence were random and they were not chosen targets, which makes it even more dangerous,” Boudreaux said. “This person was targeting anyone who got in the way.”
Garcia then appeared at his ex-girlfriend’s house, firing shots into the home from the yard. The ex-girlfriend and her children were able to escape the firefight without injury.
Garcia then fired shots into another home, in nearby Sultana. Police arrived on the scene and, after a short police chase and exchange of fire where Garcia was shot, the illegal immigrant managed to escape.
Garcia then stole a truck at gunpoint from three farm workers—and police were soon on his tail again. During a high-speed chase down State Route 65, Garcia intentionally drove on the wrong side of the road—attempting to intentionally hit other cars.
Garcia ultimately smashed into four cars, leaving one driver in critical condition and three others with minor injuries.
He had “had no regard for human life,” said Sheriff Boudreaux.
Upon hitting another car, Garcia was ejected from the stolen truck and died on the scene.