Teen Fights to Survive Weeks After Libby Lake Park Shooting

The 17-year-old Oceanside teenager was shot six times, twice in the head

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC 7 San Diego
    Garcia shows the area of the head where his brother was wounded in the March 13th shooting.

    Juan Garcia is like many people in his Oceanside neighborhood, still trying to figure out why his  brother and three of his friends were innocent victims of a recent shooting at Libby Lake Park.

    "They didn't mess with no one, so I don't understand. It's just hard to understand why,” said Garcia.

    Shooting Victim's Family Speaks Out

    [DGO] Shooting Victim's Family Speaks Out
    For the first time, family members of one of the teens injured by gunfire at Libby Lake Park are speaking out about the four people accused in the shooting. (Published Thursday, Apr 4, 2013)

    Two teenagers were killed and another two were injured when gunfire rang out in the neighborhood park around 9 p.m. on Wednesday, March 13.

    Edgar Sanchez Rios, 16, and 13-year-old Melanie Virgen were found dead at the scene. Two other teenagers were transported to Palomar Hospital.

    Juan Garcia's brother was one of the two injured.

    The 17-year-old was shot six times, twice in the head.

    Friends Mourn Oceanside Teens Killed

    [DGO] Friends Mourn Oceanside Teens Killed
    Friends of two teenagers killed in a shooting at Libby Lake Park gathered to remember their friends. (Published Thursday, Mar 14, 2013)

    He's making progress but has not been able to speak since the shooting and could be partially paralyzed Garcia told NBC 7 San Diego in an exclusive interview.

    "I believe that he's going to make. He's a strong guy. He's a really strong guy,” said Garcia.

    Arrests in Libby Lake Park Killings

    [DGO] Arrests in Libby Lake Park Killings
    A family member told us he was surprised to hear about the arrest so soon after the teenagers were killed. Three adults and one minor are in jail accused of murder. NBC 7's Chris Chan reports. (Published Sunday, Mar 31, 2013)

    For the first time, family members are speaking out about the four people accused in the shooting.

    Defendants Martin Melendrez, 21, of Vista; Michael Zurita, 19, of Vista and Santo Diaz, 19, and a 17-year-old who will be tried as an adult, face two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.

    A judge ordered all to be held without bail.

    "I forgive those guys for what they did because God is going to take care of them," the victim's brother told NBC 7 San Diego. "There's nothing I can do about it no more."

    Garcia asked us not to use his brother's name because the family is still concerned about his safety.

    They say he and the other victims were not gang members. In fact, they say he spent a lot of time with Vista Community Clinic's after-school program Project Reach.

    “It was a blow to the program because everyone felt like wow. If he can get shot, anyone can get shot,” said Jimmy Figueroa with Project Reach

    Figueroa and the program have helped to set up a fund for Garcia's family to help pay for medical bills.

    For those who wish to donate, the information is: 

    Chase Bank
    Acct#2972132043
    Libby Lake Garcia Family Aid