“We wish we could have been there to hold Jonathan so he wouldn’t be alone while taking his last breath,” the victim's family said.
Trigger Warning: The following content mentions gun violence and murder, which may be distressing to some readers.
A family mourning 16-year-old Jonathan Rosa Camacho finally found justice after over a year of suffering. A Pennsylvania man who fatally shot the teenager after mistaking him for someone he intended to murder has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, per PEOPLE.
A press release issued by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office on March 13 revealed that Luis Garcia, 33, was sentenced last week after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, possessing an instrument of crime, and related illegal firearm violations involving the death of the 16-year-old Jonathan Rosa Camacho.
During Garcia's trial before his sentencing last week, a victim impact statement was made by Camacho's family. “We wish we could have been there to hold Jonathan so he wouldn’t be alone while taking his last breath,” wrote Camacho’s family in a victim impact statement read to the court.
“At such a young age, Jonathan did everything he could to protect his mother and family. He had so many hopes and dreams about what he wanted to be in the future, and what he wanted to do to make sure his mother and family were taken care of. His loss has pierced a hole in our family that will never be filled again,” the statement added.
Garcia shot Camacho eight times as he was returning home on his bicycle in North Philadelphia on January 4, 2021, after stopping at a local convenience store, the D.A. shared. As Garcia fled, another person allegedly drove his getaway car. During the investigation, surveillance video showed Garcia wearing "very distinct footwear and a plainly visible cross-body pack" at a Chinese food store near the crime scene.
As Garcia fled the scene after the shooting, additional footage captured him wearing those same items. In the week after the murder, Philadelphia police detectives spotted the same vehicle which was seen leaving the crime scene, a Subaru Legacy, in the neighborhood while trying to gather further video evidence, and they stopped the vehicle.
Garcia acknowledged his involvement in the killing when he was arrested and questioned. "It was determined during this interrogation that Garcia gunned down the teen because he believed Camacho was associated with another individual that Garcia was targeting for murder," the release states.
Judge Glenn B. Bronson gave Garcia a life sentence without the chance of parole, followed by a consecutive sentence of 4.5–12 years in state prison. “With this conviction and sentencing, my office continues to send the message to those who may be contemplating senseless acts of violence: You will be caught and convicted,” said DA Krasner. “This was a senseless act of violence that took the life of a 16-year-old boy from this world,” said ADA Park.
Pa. Teen Riding Bike Is Murdered by Man Who Mistook Him for Someone He Wanted to Kill: 'Hole in Our Family' https://t.co/Bo1zZHnveA— People (@people) March 15, 2023
Cover Image Source: Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office