Planada prayer walk for teens shot
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A prayer walk was held Saturday morning for a North Valley girl shot in the head and her boyfriend who was also struck in the lower back.
Investigators said the shooting happened because one victim was wearing a certain colored shirt and was mistaken for a gang member.
Monica Garcia is out of intensive care and is regaining feeling in part of her body doctors thought would be paralyzed. Justin Gonzales is expected to make a full recovery.
More than 250 people walked Planada's streets and prayed Saturday morning. They are asking for the swift recovery of Monica Garcia and her boyfriend Justin Gonzales.
The two 17-year olds were shot and seriously wounded outside Garcia's home Monday night. "She was a good student and everything. Why here? She was a good kid," said Leo Marquez.
Marquez and other members of the Le Grand basketball team wanted to support their friend and fellow classmate. "Hopefully this will stop it. Stop the crime. Stop the shooting."
Four suspects have been arrested, 20-year-old Ezquiel Castillo, 22-year-old Ramon Manzo, 21-year-old Johnny Munoz and a 17 year old. Detectives said they are all gang members.
"Parents need to take back their kids from the streets," said Steve Foltz who claimed he taught at least two of the suspects in high school. "I've had those students. As kids they were good kids. I think they get caught up in stuff."
Investigators believe the teens were shot because Gonzales was mistaken as a gang member and wearing a blue Le Grand High school shirt which is a rival color.
Le Grand's superintendent said they've discussed changing the school color in the past.
"Talked about the pros and cons of removing them and leaving them in and a lot of people feel if we remove them then were actually letting the gangs win," Donna Alley said.
Part of Saturday's march included leaving prayer rocks outside homes leading up to the scene of the crime.
Some rocks asked for a full recovery for Garcia and Gonzales other rocks asked for an end to violence in the area.
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