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Mingus graduate shot dead
Written by Greg Ruland   
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 00:00

A 20-year-old graduate of Mingus Union High School, Antonio Garcia, was gunned down in front of a Phoenix strip club shortly before midnight, Sunday, Dec. 26, according to charges filed with Maricopa Superior Court.

A 28-year-old suspect from Scottsdale was being held on $2 million bond in the Fourth Avenue Jail in Phoenix on charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Garcia and three others, according to court records.

Audrey Martinson, a friend of Garcia’s who graduated from MUHS in 2010, heard Garcia had been killed from family friends Monday, Dec. 27.

Martinson said the young man stood by his friends when times were tough and “didn’t take crap from anybody.
“None of us who knew him can really accept this,” Martinson said. “He was the coolest kid. He would stick up for every one of his friends. It’s not right.”

According to court records, Garcia was one of three patrons attempting to enter the club when the shooting took place. Two other patrons who were also shot were taken to area hospitals. A club bouncer, 34-year-old Adam Troy Cooley, was also killed.

The suspect had been at the club for a short time, then left briefly to retrieve a .38-caliber handgun from his car. The suspect opened fire just inside the front entrance until he emptied his weapon of bullets. In addition to the four victims, the suspect shot at but did not hit one of the club’s dancers, according to court records.

The suspect then pushed further into the club and allegedly pointed the gun at another patron who attempted to block his way.

Instead of shooting the man, the suspect struck him in the head with his pistol when he discovered he was out of ammunition, according to police. At that point, several bar patrons wrestled the suspect to the ground and held him until police arrived.

In an interview following his arrest, the suspect reportedly said he hatched the plan to shoot the first people he ran into when he entered the club some time before he arrived at the scene. His victims were chosen randomly, he reportedly said.

The suspect allegedly told police he tried to shoot his victims in areas of the body he thought would cause their death and that he knew what he did was wrong, according to court documents.

A preliminary hearing regard-ing the shooting is set in Maricopa Superior Court on Thursday, Jan. 6, at 8:30 a.m.


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