Family members of Lilly Garcia — a four-year-old girl who was shot in the head and killed during a recent road rage incident in Albuquerque, N.M., — want justice for their “special little girl.”
Tony Torrez, 32, confessed to shooting Garcia and was charged with her murder on Wednesday, according to Albuquerque Police Department Chief Gorden Eden Jr. The chief said Torrez was taken into custody in connection with the Tuesday shooting on I-40 in Albuquerque after police received an anonymous tip.
What sparked the suspect’s alleged “road rage” is unclear. Albuquerque officer Simon Drobik told ABC News station KOAT, “From what we understand, the cars were both moving. One car pulled up next to the other car and started firing rounds into that vehicle” and then fled.
Garcia died after being transported to the hospital for her gunshot wounds.
The four-year-old’s mother, Veronica Garcia, told KOAT that the family wanted to thank law enforcement and “the community for sending in tips to catch this guy who took my baby” and that “whoever did this is going to pay.”
“I’m not going away, my family’s not going away, [Lilly’s] face isn’t going away,” Veronica Garcia said through tears. “Mark my words, you will see me again.”
The heartbroken mother added she was going to make sure that Lilly, who had a personality and maturity “over and above her age,” would never be forgotten.
“She just had this smile and these beautiful big, brown eyes that would just light up the room,” Veronica Garcia said. “You would just see her, and you would just smile…she was so polite…the first time you met her, she just grabbed your heart. She’s going to be missed by a lot of people.”
Another relative had harsh words for Torrez.
“He is a coward, he is a coward,” she told KOAT. “And we’re not done. We’re just beginning right now…once he goes to court, we’re there.”
Torrez is scheduled to be arraigned at Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court this afternoon.