It’s been nearly two months since 44-year-old Antonio Garza was shot and killed by deputies from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Office, and on Thursday, his family addressed the media to demand justice.
Garza, a Yucca Valley resident, allegedly set fire to a trailer on Feb. 5, then led deputies on a pursuit that ended with his fatal shooting near Palm Springs in Riverside County.
In a lawsuit filed against the Sheriff’s Department and two other law enforcement agencies, Garza’s family claims he was shot twice in the back as he was running away while unarmed, which they argue proves he was not a threat to deputies.
“When Tony walked into a room, the first thing he would do is give everyone a big hug,” a family member said. “He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. He always thanked our service members when he saw them. He was a ‘yes sir’ and a ‘yes ma’am’ kind of guy. He never took a handout; everything he earned was through his hard work.”
Garza’s family is seeking $20 million in damages.