Man known for giving back to NJ community gunned down on basketball court

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Tuesday, September 27, 2022
Vigil held for man gunned down on basketball court in Hoboken
Christopher Garcia, who was found on a basketball court with a gunshot wound to his torso, was well known for giving back in the community. Lucy Yang spoke with mourners at a vigil in Hoboken.

HOBOKEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in Hoboken are investigating the murder of a man who was gunned down on a local basketball court over the weekend.

Officers responded to a call around 3:30 a.m. Sunday about a shooting near Marshall Drive between 5th and 6th streets.

When they arrived, they found 28-year-old Christopher Garcia with a gunshot wound to his torso.

He was rushed to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead less than an hour later.

"You wouldn't know he was born with a hole in his heart, because his heart was big and the love he gave was real," his girlfriend, Lynese Garcia, said.

She planned her future around the love of her life, but now, she and hundreds of friends are holding onto one another, comforting Garcia's parents, sister and three brothers.

Just hours after news spread of his death, a vigil was held outside his home on Jefferson at 11th Street.

Dozens of white balloons were released Monday night followed by a heated lantern covered with signatures from grieving friends.

Ric Selleck was his best friend since their teenage years.

"He had this ability to do anything," he said. "Whatever he wanted to commit to, he could do it. And whether it was doing T-shirts or leading community events or helping anybody out that he could help, and just bringing a smile, laughter, a fun personality that lit up a room. He was someone you wanted to be around."

Garcia hosted a community event in July that Selleck said brought hundreds of people out and included giving bikes and toys to children.

"When stuff got tough, Hoboken stepped up, and Chris was one of those kids that was going to step up for Hoboken," Selleck said. "So we got his back, we love him, and we're not going to forget him."

Garcia was building his own business as a clothing designer, and he loved Hoboken and hoped to build a legacy of giving that his friends and family say they vow to carry out in his name.

"I know that God will turn his pain, our pain, into purpose," Garcia said.

Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla offered his condolences to Garcia's family in a statement on Twitter.

"The entire community in Hoboken is deeply saddened by the tragic death of Chris Garcia last night," the statement read. "Words cannot describe the suffering of a family from the loss of a young man in Chris. Our prayers are with his family and we are here to support Chris' family in any way possible as they grieve his loss. May his memory stay with us always as we keep him and his family in our prayers."

Since 2013, there have only been three homicides in Hoboken, the most recent being in August of 2020.

No arrests have been made so far, and anyone with information is urged to contact the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office at 201-915-1345 or visit their website to leave an anonymous tip. All information will be kept confidential.

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