Christian Riley Garcia, 15, died protecting his fellow students from the Santa Fe shooting on May 18th. Law enforcement informed Garcia’s parents Garcia took a bullet through a door he was guarding. Pastor Keenan Smith noted, as a result of Garcia’s actions and his “sacrifice, others were saved.”
“He was holding the door shut when the shooter was trying to gain access into that art room … the shooter shot through the door, taking his (Garcia’s) life. He was against the door trying to help his teacher, trying to help another student, and trying to shield the others there,” Smith told CNN.
Christian was in his art class at the time of the shooting.
15-year-old Courtney Marshall described Garcia as a hero.
“It was just me, Christian, and Ms. Perkins left in the closet,” said Marshall. He shot the door. I guess the shot went through and killed Christian, and then he shot Ms. Perkins. Then he was trying to shoot at me but he missed. I was lucky enough to run out, but he was still shooting.”
Marshall noted, as the gunman attempted to open fire on the closest, Garcia guarded the door, holding it tight. He was protecting Perkins and Courtney.
“He was a hero, cause if he would never have been there, we pretty much would have been dead because we were stuck in that closet.” Courtney said.
Garcia’s courage and selflessness is one of the many heroic acts coming out of the shooting, which claimed the lives of ten people.
“That’s not what’s supposed to happen to a 15-year-old’s life that he has to make those decisions. But he made them without even thinking about it, because it was his heart. This is who he was as an individual,” Pastor Keenan Smith said.
Pastor Keenan Smith talking about Christian Riley Garcia, who was a member of Crosby Church since an infant. Garcia was one of ten killed at #SantaFeHighSchool Friday morning. Tonight a memorial prayer service was held for him and all ten victims. @FOX26Houston pic.twitter.com/XzMORAXP0n
— Lindsey Henry FOX 26 (@LindseyFOX26) May 22, 2018