As condolences pour in from around the country over the loss of life in San Jose, California, one North Texan has a unique perspective on what happened early Wednesday morning.
Eddie Garcia is new to the area and holds a prominent position in the public office.
He started his job as chief of the Dallas Police Department nearly four months ago but before that, he called San Jose home for most of his life.
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“It’ll always be important to me,” Garcia said.
Like many, Garcia woke up to the devastating news of a mass shooting in the city known as the heart of Silicon Valley. For him, it was in the city he called home since the age of five.
He said he was getting ready for work Wednesday when he began receiving texts from his son about what was happening in San Jose.
“Surreal, mass shooting in San Jose, California where I had just been the chief,” Garcia said.
Garcia rose through the ranks of the San Jose Police Department, becoming chief for more than five years before retiring in December.
He spent 28 years with the force and says he’s driven by the Valley Transportation Authority rail yard where the mass shooting happened.
Officials say shots were still being fired when law enforcement responding to the scene and walked through the doors.
“We see this bravery shown time and time again in our country with our men and women running towards evil and not away from it, and although the loss of these victims was tragic, their response was admirable,” Garcia said.
Garcia says he's reached out to San Jose's mayor and new police chief, among other officials, to “ensure that they know we’re watching and our hearts are with them,” he said.
He said he wants residents of San Jose to know they’re not alone.
“Be strong,” Garcia said. “This country is praying for you.”