EL CENTRO- Early Saturday morning a Brawley Union High School student was found stabbed and ultimately succumbed to his wounds.
The El Centro Police Department received a call at approximately 2:00 a.m. that a possible stabbing had occurred. When officers arrived at Commercial Avenue and 7th Street, they discovered a 17-year-old victim with multiple stab wounds in an alley near Commercial Avenue. The victim, later identified as Martin Garza, a resident of Brawley, was immediately taken to El Centro Regional Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Officers interviewed several witnesses to the crime. Although there have been no suspects named at this time, they feel confident that suspects in the murder will be identified. They are also looking into the motives of the crime. “Gang involvement may be a factor in this homicide,” according to El Centro police Cmdr. Jeff Mason.
Garza was a well-known and highly praised athlete at Brawley Union High School. He was a junior who played both offensive and defensive line for the school’s varsity football team, The Wildcats. The team had an excellent season with 10 wins and 2 losses. The community is stunned and has reached out on Facebook and Twitter to show their support to the family and sorrow at losing such a promising young life. A memorial page titled “RIP Martin Smashbro Garza” was set up on Facebook in his honor has already garnered more than 3,000 “likes”. Brawley Wildcat Coach Jon Self told the Desert Review that Garza had a good GPA and was hard worker who was involved in many school activities. Coach Self speculated that the murder was simply an incident of a good guy being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The community will be holding a fundraising dinner at Hidalgo Hall Saturday, January 12, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. All proceeds will go to the Garza family.
The Desert Review: Brawley Union High School student murdered in El Centro
Imperial Valley Press: Community reacts to fatal stabbling of BUHS student