A man has been sentenced to life without parole for shooting down a 16-year-old boy on a bicycle after he mistakenly thought the boy was related to someone he was targeting for murder.
Luis Garcia was convicted last week for the 2021 shooting of Jonathan Camacho, authorities said in a news release on Sunday. Garcia was convicted last week of first-degree murder, possession of an instrumentality of crime and illegal firearms violations, prosecutors said in a statement.
On January 4, 2021, Garcia shot Camacho eight times after the teenager rode past him on his bike. Garcia fled in a Subaru Legacy driven by another man. Officers arrived and attempted to save the boy’s life, but he died.
Camacho’s parents said the loss blew a hole in the family that will never be filled.
“We wish we could have been there to hold Jonathan so he wasn’t alone on his last breath,” his family wrote in a statement read to the court. “At such a young age, Jonathan did everything he could to protect his mother and his family. He had so many hopes and dreams of what he wanted to be in the future and what he wanted do to ensure that his mother and family would be taken care of.
Surveillance footage showed Garcia wearing distinctive shoes and a body bag at a Chinese food store shortly before the murder. Footage also showed him taking off after the shooting.
A week after the murder, detectives spotted the same Subaru in the neighborhood and arrested it. Police searched the car, registered to Garcia’s co-defendant, Eric Santiago, and found the body bag carried by Garcia the night of the shooting, authorities said.
When arrested and faced with evidence a week after the murder, prosecutors said both men had confessed.
“It was determined during this interrogation that Garcia shot the teenager because he believed Camacho was associated with another individual that Garcia was targeting for murder,” Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner said in a statement. A press release. “With this condemnation and sentencing, my office continues to send the message to those who may be contemplating senseless acts of violence: you will be arrested and convicted.”
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