Report confirms death in shooting; Oliveira Park case under investigation

A police report detailing the aftermath of last month’s shooting in Oliveira Park details a drive-by allegedly committed while a group of Pace High School students sat in a vehicle eating Whataburger.

The victim, 17-year-old Michael Garcia, passed away at 6:29 p.m. on Aug. 28 after transport to Valley Baptist Medical Center-Brownsville, according to Brownsville police.

The shooting occurred that evening at around 5:30 p.m. at 104 El Paso Road, the report confirmed.

It marked the second shooting in one day, sparking reports among neighbors gathered near the park that the young man had been shot in retaliation for the earlier incident at the 2800 block of Frankfurt Street, which left one person dead.

Police did not give any indication that the two shootings were related, and the case is still active, the report confirmed.

Officers responded to a call at 5:35 p.m. in reference to a subject shot “The complainant said a green sports utility vehicle drove by and shot his friend in the abdomen. The line was then disconnected,” described the report.

Upon arriving at the scene, Officer C. Rivera arrived and “noticed two young males by the driver side door of a white 2013 Ford Mustang. The Mustang was reverse parked in the park’s parking lot between Viking Ln and Wild rose Ln,” he wrote in a statement.

“A male wearing no shirt and jeans was sitting and holding a male lying on the ground face up.”

Police later identified the victim as Garcia. “Michael had his shirt up with his abdomen exposed. In his abdomen area was a new wound. No blood was actively leaking from the wound. No puddles or accumulated blood was located around Michael,” the officer stated.

Medics arrived and loaded Garcia onto a stretcher, officers reported, arriving at VBMC at 5:51 p.m. with Officer E. Balboa following the ambulance.

Jose Garza, Garcia’s friend was upset. Rivera described him “crying and sobbing as I asked him to step back from Michael. Jose was breathing heavy and sobbing as he explained that Michael is like a brother to him.”

The witness told Rivera that the two had driven to Oliveira Park to eat Whataburger that Garcia was driving, Garza rode in the passenger seat, and that a third friend named Mack Guerra occupied the back seat, according to the document.

The officer noted that investigators did not find wrappers, bags, or Whataburger items in or around the vehicle.

The report stated that Garza was on his phone and saw Garcia open the door to stretch his legs. Garcia then stepped outside of the vehicle. “Jose then heard a loud shot. Michael then said something along the lines of ‘I got shot’,” the officer wrote.

Garza told officers that he did not get a good look at the suspect, vehicle, or its occupants. “He then saw his friend fall over,” Rivera stated.

“Jose said the friend Mack ‘freaked out’ and left running. Jose said he does not know why Mack left running,” the report stated.

Upon questioning by detectives, Garza began to give inconsistencies in his statements, police wrote, though a separate witness confirmed that she saw a male running away from the Mustang towards nearby railroad tracks.

Officers eventually located a gun behind the kickball field, as well as Guerra, who was detained and brought in for questioning alongside other witnesses, police wrote.

As of Monday, police stated no arrests had been made and the case remains under investigation.

esheridan@brownsvilleherald.com