A tire shop owner known for his generosity died trying to stop alleged thieves on Monday.
Bobby Garcia, 38, was married and the father of 10- and 11-year-old boys, his wife said.
Outside Garcia’s Tires and Wheels Shop on Fuqua near Almeda, pain hit people hard.
“Please tell me it’s not true,” his wife Jennifer Hernandez said. “Please tell me it’s not true because I can’t believe it happened. I can’t believe he’s gone.”
Family and friends say Garcia was so generous he often gave customers too poor to pay free tires. It makes how he died hard to handle.
“I just lost everything,” Hernandez said. “I lost everything. They didn’t just take my husband. They took my best friend. They took the father of my kids. They took a great guy just because he was trying to stop a robbery.”
Garcia grew up in the area and left only to serve three years prison time for assault in 2009. However, that was before he met Jennifer and turned his life around.
“He had this tough look on his face and he would be the kind of person (to) take the shirt off his back and help people out,” she said.
Garcia promised family members he would stay out of trouble. He then borrowed money from his mom to open the tire shop four years ago. He had plenty of skeptics.
“When he first opened up the shop it was just him by himself,” Hernandez said. “I saw how hard he used to work so I told him you can’t do this by yourself. Let me come and work with you.”
So, he trained his wife. The two worked together until he hired others. His business made enough to take care of the couple’s children until Monday afternoon.
“It’s just crazy that something like this could happen,” said Frank Farais, who washed cars for Garcia’s business.
Houston police said Garcia stopped at the convenience store next door. He bought drinks for his shop. On his way out, he saw two mean stealing from a Lexus. Garcia and the convenience store owner, who owns the Lexus too, stepped in. A gunman opened fire. Bullets grazed the store owner. Garcia died.
A witness across the street saw the suspects leave in a light blue Chrysler and unsuccessfully tried to run them down.
“It wasn’t meant for him,” Hernandez said. “We had so many plans: buying a house, grow old together. He wanted to travel the world when we got old. Now we can’t do that.”
Loved ones left flowers, balloons and stuffed animals outside Garcia’s shop.
HPD detectives have surveillance video that shows the shooter and another suspect outside the convenience store.
They do not have anyone in custody yet and are still looking for the getaway car.
If you have any information please contact the Houston Police Department at (713) 308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at (713) 222-8477.