Lilly Garcia was just four years old when she died on Tuesday in a case of road rage in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The little girl was riding in a car driven by her father, Alan Garcia, when another car drove up beside them and an occupant of that car began shooting.
"He took my Lilly," Veronica Garcia, the mother of Lilly Garcia told NBC News during an interview on Thursday.
Lilly Garcia was struck in the head with a bullet and died later on in the hospital.
— 48 Hours (@48hours) October 22, 2015
"She was just a beautiful, beautiful soul," Veronica Garcia said.
On Wednesday, a man was arrested for killing Lilly Garcia.
Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden Jr. said that Tony Torrez was taken into custody after the police received an anonymous call from someone claiming they knew who had shot Lilly Garcia. Torrez is being held on $650,000 cash bond.
Parents of 4-year old killed in road rage shooting speak out https://t.co/DCZU62JTOW
— TIME.com (@TIME) October 23, 2015
"A child is never supposed to do what my daughter did for me," Alan Garcia said of the incident. "If I would have let her move her seat like she wanted to, I could have survived that. I could have survived it."
"As the vehicles proceeded westbound on Interstate 40, shots were fired into the truck," Chief Eden said Wednesday. "The father, recognizing that he did in fact hear shots, saw that his daughter was bleeding, pulled to the edge of the road and tried to administer first aid."
"I want this guy to really pay for what he did," Alan Garcia said.
"You're going to continue to see our face," Veronica said. "I will be there until I know he's sentenced and I know he's put away and even after that."
Lilly Garcia's mother says she and her husband will miss their "vibrant" little girl, adding that Lilly was always happy and laughing.
"You know, she's not going to first grade," Veronica Garcia said. "What are we going to do for the holidays? Because he made a choice to pull out his gun."
— Albuquerque Police (@ABQPOLICE) October 22, 2015
The death of little Lilly Garcia is indeed a tragedy. Road rage sometimes results in fender benders or the shouting of obscenities. In this case it resulted in a gun being pulled and an innocent child's death.
Hopefully Tony Torrez is made to pay for his crime. That won't mend the hearts of Lilly Garcia's parents, but perhaps in time, it will allow them a but of peace.