LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The loved ones of a homeless man who was allegedly shot and killed by a security guard are speaking out.
In an exclusive interview with 8 News Now, the victim who was identified by the Clark County Coroner’s office as 27-year-old Max Garcia said he was a loving man who was just down on his luck.
“I’m heartbroken because I begged him not to leave my house,” said Lexi Gibson, the girlfriend of Max Garcia.
The shooting happened early Saturday morning near Decatur Boulevard and the 215 in the northwest part of the valley.
According to Gibson, Garcia was going through tough times — even couch surfing — but he was trying to get back on his feet. Gibson said she and Garcia were together days before he died.
“When he left my house a few days ago, he told me that when we gets all of his stuff together physically, that he would show up with a ring and I would be his,” Gibson said.
But the proposal Gibson was looking for never happened. According to Metro Police, Garcia was sleeping on the sidewalk of a shopping center early Saturday morning right before he and officer Brian Love got into an argument.
Metro says surveillance video shows Love pulled out a gun firing at Garcia multiple times. Detectives say Love didn’t call the police after the shooting, so Garcia’s body wasn’t found until later.
“Shooting somebody even one time is not the way to handle that situation,” said Gibson.
People who work at the shopping center agree.
“That’s a little distressing to think that someone who’s supposed to be on duty protecting this complex is responsible for shooting someone,” said Kathy DiMatteo, works nearby – Anderson Audiology
“He’s supposed to be our protection, and knowing he killed somebody that was probably no threat to him really bothers me,” said Nicole Melton, works near the area of the shooting.
A memorial has grown for Garcia on the sidewalk of the shopping center where he was shot.
“I want him to be remembered as the light that he was,” Gibson said. “He was the life of the party, of the party; every party. I think that he should spend his life in prison.”
Love is scheduled to be back in court Tuesday for his arraignment. Meantime, friends are planning to hold vigils for Garcia in the coming days. The information for the vigils is below:
Vigil for Max Garcia Monday
Where: Butterfly Park
6851 N Buffalo Dr., Las Vegas, Nevada
Time: 8 p.m.
Vigil for Max Garcia Tuesday
Where: Shopping center where the shooting occurred. It’s located near the Skinny Fats restaurant on 215 and Decatur.
Time: 7:30 p.m.