Accidental Antioch pellet rifle shooting ends in teen's death

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ANTIOCH (Debora Villalon/KTVU) The first day of summer vacation ended in tragedy for an Antioch family when their son was accidentally shot and killed in the chest on Thursday morning at home by a friend.

Neighbors identified the victim as 15-year-old Marcos Garcia, who just finished his freshman year at Deer Valley High School.

The teen who pulled the trigger is a classmate the same age. Antioch Police Sgt. John Fortner said that officers determined the shooting was a 'tragic accident." He did not mention any arrests.

"The boys came yelling, 'Marcos, something happened to Marcos,'" neighbor Jorge Duran told KTVU.

Duran said there were several boys in the Garcia house on Palomar Drive at about 10 a.m., when a pellet rifle shot Marcos at close range.  

"He had a small wound in his chest, and I guess it went straight into his heart," Duran said, adding that he tried to hurry the paramedics arrival. "He was laying on the floor and he was unconscious, and I didn't know how long he'd stopped breathing but it might have been ten or fifteen minutes because the kids didn't know what to do."

The Deer Valley Wolverines class of 2017 graduated Thursday evening.

Administrators declined requests to speak to news reporters before the commencement ceremony.

Some families had heard about Marcos' death, but many had not, since classes have ended for summer vacation.

"They've been a really nice family, they're good neighbors," neighbor Kathy Sandiforth told KTVU.

Sandiforth says Marcos was the youngest child in the household, with three half-siblings, and that both parents were away at work when the shooting happened.

"Mom and Dad work really hard to survive, and then, boys are boys, and they get together and play, and sometimes things happen, it's sad," Sandiforth said.

Another neighbor came home from work early to console his son, who has grown up with Marcos.

"This is always a reminder that guns are dangerous, especially playing around with them," said Anthony Myers, "but I never heard of a pellet gun killing someone, that's rare."

Marcos' two best friends in the neighborhood describe him as likable, loyal, funny and good at soccer.

"He had invited a couple of friends to come over, just to hang out," reflected Chaz Myers.

"He was like my best friend, like a brother to me," added Aron Duran, "and when I heard he was shot, I was in shock."

Both boys are 15, and also friends with the one who pulled the trigger.

"I want to talk to him, comfort him, and tell him it's not really fault because accidents happen," declared Myers, " and I don't think he should have any more consequences because he didn't purposely try to kill somebody."

Myers and Duran said Garcia wasn't prone to gun play, and they remembered seeing the pellet gun only rarely.     

Antioch Police declined to give any further details, or outline any next steps in their investigation.