Father shot, killed in front of son while working at South L.A. Taco Bell

Taco Bell employee killed by gunman

Alejandro Garcia worked two jobs, both at Taco Bell restaurants in Los Angeles, to support his family.

On Saturday night, the 41-year-old Garcia was picking up an extra shift at the Avalon Boulevard restaurant in South L.A., working alongside his 19-year-old son, Carlos, who was staffing the drive-through.

When a customer who had pulled up to the drive-through window shortly before 11 p.m. tried to pay with a counterfeit bill, the teen refused to accept it, said Karina Garcia De Meza, Garcia’s cousin.


The interaction ended in a shooting that left the father of three dead, gunned down in front of his oldest child, authorities with the Los Angeles Police Department said.

After paramedics arrived in the 9900 block of Avalon Boulevard, near Century Boulevard, Garcia was declared dead, LAPD Officer Drake Madison said.

“It’s horrible, and it’s crazy,” De Meza said. “He’s doing his job and he gets killed.”

De Meza said her cousin was born in Cuernavaca, Mexico, and arrived in the U.S. nearly 20 years ago. He was a hard worker, a good father, son and a devout Jehovah’s Witness, she added.

Relatives have started a GoFundMe account for Garcia’s family — including his two other children, a 16-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter — as they make funeral arrangements.

“They’re good people. They’re not gang members,” De Meza said of her cousin and his family. “He was an outgoing man and a jokester. If he saw you walking down the street with your groceries, he would offer to help. He was the type of person to help someone push their car if he came across them in the street.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for Taco Bell said the company was “shocked and saddened” by news of the fatal shooting.


“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the team member in this difficult time. We understand the owner and operator of this location is working with the local authorities in their investigation and has reached out directly to the affected family to offer support,” company officials said.

Police have few leads, saying only that the killing was committed by a man in a black sedan who fled the scene after the shooting, which did not appear to be gang-related.

On Sunday, LAPD Chief Michel Moore called the slaying “senseless” and asked for the public’s help in identifying the gunman.

“There are those who know who did this,” Moore said in a tweet. “Humanity demands that you step forward.”

City News Service contributed to this report.