Amid the violent shooting rampage carried out at Santa Fe High School last Wednesday, May 18th, that ended in 10 fatalities, Christian Riley Garcia, a 15-year-old freshman, managed to save the lives of a girl whom he’d recently asked out on a date as well as another classmate, by sacrificing his own.
I remember & honor you AMERICAN HERO CHRISTIAN RILEY GARCIA who was shot through the door he was holding shut which allowed his fellow students to escape the shooter at Santa Fe High School. At only 15 years old, Garcia died so others can live#SantaFeHigh#TuesdayThoughts#HERO pic.twitter.com/4TRH3b8tQP
— Tara M Bannister (@TaraMBannister) May 22, 2018
At the time of that attack, students were enjoying their Art class when it was interrupted by a crazed gunman yelling “surprise,” as he took aim at students and teachers in the hallways and in classrooms. Substitute teacher Ann Perkins, and students Christian Riley Garcia, Jai Gillard, and Courtney Marshall took cover in a closet after “smelling gunpowder” and their initial attempt to escape out the back door of the classroom failed, according to the Associated Press.
This is 15 year old Christian “Riley” Garcia, he was murdered today at Santa Fe High School. To lawmakers around the nation that will offer his family their “thoughts & prayers,” pass stricter gun laws so no family has to grieve again. pic.twitter.com/OAM8aeajXK
— Simar (@sahluwal) May 19, 2018
The personal account of Courtney Marshall, who survived the shooting does not include Gillard, but Gillard insists she was also saved by Christian Riley Garcia’s heroism as well.
First, the gunman fired through the closet door, killing Christian Riley Garcia, who was using his body as a barricade to prevent the shooter from entering the closet. He stopped the bullets from hitting Marshall, and the girl he recently asked on a date, Jai Gillard. The shooter then shot and killed Ms. Perkins as Marshall and Gillard were able to make an escape. Marshall remembers being fired at but she was not hit; she credits Christitan Riley Garcia with saving her life.
Marshall said before the gunman opened fire on the closet, Riley held on tight to the door. He tried to shield Courtney and Perkins. He was a hero, cause if he would never have been there,” said Marshall. “We pretty much would have been dead because we were stuck in that closet.”
Gillard remembers Riley Garcia as “always happy” and “very sweet”.
Christian Riely Garcia aspired to join the military and was a big history buff who loved Toby Keith music, football and just having fun, reports ABC channel 13 Eyewitness News.
A vigil was held at Crosby Church on Monday evening to honor his bravery and selflessness.
You can support his family on a Gofundme page here.