Porterville murder victim buried, family waits for justice

PORTERVILLE, Calif. "It was a total shock. He was a family man. It was totally uncalled for," said Karrie Guzman of Porterville.

A couple hundred friends and family members gathered to say goodbye to Erick Garcia at Porterville's Hillcrest Cemetery Tuesday.

Renee Rivera said: "[He was a] good father, good husband and a good friend."

Lucy Alvarado added: "It's a real big loss. It wasn't necessary for the people to do that and take a life."

"The family is grieving in their way but we got a big support system. We've got a lot of friends, he's got a lot of family ... friends are our family," said Garcia's sister-in-law Lisa Pelles.

On Monday May 17th Garcia was killed leaving this Family Store when witnesses said at least two men confronted and shot him.

Police arrested two gang members 20-year-old Norberto Gonzalez and his brother 21-year-old Jose Gonzales as accessories to homicide.

Jose was released late last week for lack of evidence, a move that upset many at the funeral.

Guzman: "I think it's wrong but justice will be served."

Alvarado: "It makes me angry that they let him out. Because now he's running the streets again."

Investigators do not have a motive yet but family members said Erick Garcia broke up a fight outside his house with the suspects just days before he was shot and killed.

Detectives believe the youngest brother, 18-year-old Rafael Gonzalez, is the man who shot Garcia. Investigators have yet to find him. Also his older brother Jose is still a person of interest and could be re-arrested at any time.

"The community's mad. We're mad and we want justice," said Pelles.

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