FAIRFIELD — A bell sculpture was dedicated at the Matt Garcia Career and College Academy as part of Crime Victims’ Rights Week activities in Fairfield.
Several hundred attendees heard Solano County District Attorney Krishna Abrams remind people that what crime victims need is justice. But she also said the day must also be devoted to the memories of crime victims.
“Let’s remember their courage, their strength and their love for life,” said Abrams.
The parents of Matt Garcia, the 22-year-old Fairfield City Council member who was killed in a wrong identity shooting nearly eight years ago, were present to dedicate the four panel sculpture with their son’s ideals carved into it. Inside was a large bell.
“Our whole focus is go fulfill Matt’s dream, support our youth, help stop crime, and ultimately strengthen the communities that we live in,” said Raymond Courtemanche, Matt’s step-dad.
Matt’s mother Teresa Courtemanche told the audience, which included families of other crime victims, that they had the support of people in the community through their suffering and that her family was offering the same.
“The love and support that our family continues to receive continues to make a positive impact on us…we want to be available to give that back to other crime victims and their families,” said Teresa Courtemanche.
The inaugural ringing of the bell in the sculpture was made by Corrie Chavez who was in a wheelchair after she was hit in a drive-by shooting two years ago. She said it was difficult because the shooters are still on the loose, but that she has gained strength through the struggle.
“I think of myself as more a survivor than being a victim of a crime. . .and I will walk again,” said Chavez amid cheers from the crowd, which also included elected officials and law enforcement representatives.