Young man who survived Libby Lake Park shooting talks to 10News

David Garcia shot seven times in Oceanside park

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - A young man who survived a shooting in Libby Lake Park in Oceanside last month shared his story with 10News.

"We were hanging out and four guys came up and we didn't hear them," David Garcia said during an interview on Saturday.

Garcia was with 13-year-old Melanie Virgen, 15-year-old Edgar Sanchez and another friend last month at Libby Lake Park.

"They all got like six or seven shots," he said.

Virgen and Sanchez did not survive. Garcia was shot seven times all over his body, including his head.

"I just fell," he said. "I dropped and then I saw my friends die and I didn't realize they were dead because I was in the hospital. I thought they were faking it, but they weren't. They were dead."

Garcia was in the hospital for 28 days. His medical bills are off the charts and his mother had to quit her job to help care for him. The bullet to Garcia's head is still there.

"I'm lucky that I'm alive," he said. "I shouldn't be able to talk right now. I shouldn't be able to see because it hit my brain. It went through my temple and it just got stuck in there."

On Saturday, Garcia showed up at the Libby Lake Resource Center where teens in Project REACH held a rummage sale to help his family with their medical bills and members of North Coast Church spruced up the recreation center.

"We're just raising money for our community," said Jordan Arbelo.

Jimmy Figueroa added, "It's kind of like therapy for them. They want to help their community and they want to support their friends and the family of their friends."

Last month's shooting occurred in the exact same spot that two other teens were shot and killed in 2011. Garcia believes the city of Oceanside could have done more to protect park visitors after the first shootings.

"But why didn't they put lights on there?" he asked. "Why didn't they patrol the place?"

Police say the four suspects are gang members. 21-year-old Martin Melendrez, 19-year-old Michael Zarita, 19-year-old Santo Diaz and 17-year-old Kevin Brizuela pleaded not guilty.

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