Fairfield councilman to go off life support

September 2, 2008 3:45:23 PM PDT
Fairfield Mayor Harry Price has announced that Councilman Matt Garcia's family has decided to take him off life support.

The city of Fairfield is holding a vigil right now for a 22-year-old city councilman, who was shot Monday night.

Fairfield police say Matt Garcia was hit in the head and critically wounded in a drive-by shooting in the 5000 block of Silverado Drive.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction in a California court of the person or persons responsible for the shooting.

The city of Fairfield has opened its council chamber doors for its employees and the public to come to grieve and talk about City Councilman Matt Garcia. The mayor said news of Monday night's shooting spread quickly and has already captured national attention. With well-wishers calling from around the U.S..

"We're stunned. We're just stunned," said Chuck Timm, Fairfield city councilmember.

Timm is one of many shocked to learn of the shooting of 22-year-old fellow councilman Matt Garcia. The shooting happened in Cordelia Villages Monday night at 8:30 on the 5000 block of Silverado.

"He was visiting a friend and was in the driveway with that friend when multiple shots rang out in their direction. Matt was struck once in the back of the head," said Fairfield Police Chief Kenton Rainey.

Garcia was the only person hit and he was life-flighted to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek in critical condition.

Police Chief Kenton Rainey says a team of investigators including some from the State Department of Justice, have spent the entire night searching for evidence and suspects. With no known motive or suspects - the community and civic leaders are in awe.

"There are few elected, in my experience - who have the charisma, the energy and the very optimistic outlook that Matt Garcia had. He's one of those who can connect with anyone," said Fairfield Mayor Harry Price.

Mayor Harry Price says Matt Garcia is the youngest elected official in Fairfield's history, and is believed to be the youngest ever in the state -- a young man whose platform is to stand up for youth and against crime - a path he veered away from.

"He had a pretty storied background, not himself, but family members. And he often said he could have gone to gangs and a life of crime or gone the way he did you know student body president in high school. When he was in 9th or 10th grade, he told the principal - I'm going to be the mayor of Fairfield one day," said Timm.

When Garcia was elected to a four-year term last November, he pledged to work on the key issues of crime prevention, economic growth and community development.

Now this city of 105,000 waits nervously in pain. Wondering why this shooting happened; grieving together and hoping for the best.

"This is definitely a shocker, especially for somebody like Matt Garcia, a great guy, individual. Up and coming. He represents everything that's good in all of us in the city of Fairfield," said Rainey.

When Matt Garcia was elected last year, his political energy brought a congratulatory call from Oprah. And even last week, Garcia had lunch with presidential nominee John McCain, who shook his hand and said 'you are the vision for the future.'


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