Suspect in officer-involved shooting at Visalia mall has extensive criminal history

The suspect injured in an officer-involved shooting at the Visalia Mall on Thursday has an extensive criminal history in Tulare County, with convictions including assault, robbery, and kidnapping.

Visalia Police say officers had no choice but to shoot 36-year-old Richard Sylvester Garcia when he backed up towards them in the mall parking lot on Thursday evening.

Garcia was cited and released from a Tulare County jail exactly one week ago, although it's unclear what kind of crime he committed.

In 2016, he was sentenced to prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition, court records show.

The report from that arrest describes how Garcia, also known as "Koopa" jumped out the bathroom window of a house police were serving arrest warrants at.

The officer writes, "I did recognize S/Garcia from previous contacts and know him to be an active Norteno gang member with a history of weapons arrest."

The report also reveals that Garcia had an outstanding warrant at that time for a previous police pursuit.
Inside the home, the officer writes that Garcia made some spontaneous statements about the amount of jail time he would face.

"He said that he would only get 90 days for the pursuit and additionally, he believed he would only get 90 days for the firearm. He stated that it was 'Thanks to Prop 47. Thanks to voters.'"

Garcia is still at the hospital recovering from his injuries.

He'll be booked into jail after that.

No one else was hurt during Thursday night's shooting.

The following information is from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"The last case we have on Richard S. Garcia CDCR#AZ8684 was out of Tulare County. He was sentenced on April 28, 2016 to a total of 4 years in prison for possession of a firearm by a felon or addict. He also had four other counts: possession of ammunition by a prohibited person, failure to appear, possession of a controlled substance in custody, and evading a peace officer while driving recklessly. However all of the other four counts were to run concurrently to the initial sentence. Per law, he was eligible for one day credit for each day served ( 50% credit) which cut his term to 2 years. The court also granted him 483 days of pre, post and vested credit, ( most of it for time served in jail while awaiting sentencing). So he was sentenced April 28, 2016 and was released from the Pleasant Valley State Prison to Post Release Community Supervision bythe Tulare County Probation Department on 8/05/2018."
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