Brawley attends candlelight vigil for Martin Smashbro Garza



BRAWLEY – Once again Brawley proved how a tight community behaves as hundreds showed up at Warne Field for a candlelight vigil for the slain BUHS senior, Martin Garza Jr.

Garza had been the victim of a gang related killing in El Centro during the early hours of Sunday morning.

Brawley High School District trustee Helen Noriega said, “I have known the Garzas for a very long time. We went to the same church. Martin and his dad were both taking classes together at St. Margaret Mary’s. He was a great kid, so personable and he really loved his family.”

Rev. D. Lee, Pastor, New Mount Olive Baptist, opened the solemn ceremony along with the Father from St. Margaret Mary’s Church. The first of hundreds of candles were lit by Garza’s parents, Yulil Alonso-Garza and Martin Sr.

Hearts were touched as “Boys of Fall” played to a slide show showing Garza’s high school pictures depicting a full and wonderful life. Photographs of Garza in prom clothes, football attire, in silly outfits with funny faces, but all of them showing a warm and loving smile surrounded by friends and family.

Football players spoke first and the image of Garza being a true, but funny friend, immerged. Tanner Rollins said that it was Garza that first befriended him when he transferred to BUHS. Rollins was followed by player after player who memorialized Garza as an amazing young man. Many thanked his parents for raising such a good guy.

Sobbing was heard throughout the crowded stands, but as extended family members shared their heartbreak, Garza’s classmates responded with broken hearts, too.

Garza’s faith was mentioned many times, and the faith of fellow believers holding on to the hope of once again seeing this young soul who was cut down in the prime of his life.

Garza’s mother closed the ceremony asking for prayers, prayers for the family and prayers for justice.

“Not revenge, justice,” she pleaded.

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