TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) —The grandparents of 7-year-old Yitzian Torres Garcia say he only wanted to spend Fourth of July by the water looking at fireworks.
“This is not supposed to happen to babies,” said Marisol Ayala, Yitzian’s grandmother.
A night that’s supposed to be about celebration quickly shifted when Tampa police say a petty argument led to gunfire at the Courtney Campbell Causeway.
“Your actions and your anger led to a 7-year-old just starting their life getting killed because you were angry over a jet ski,” said Tampa Police Deputy Chief Calvin Johnson.
During a press conference Wednesday morning, Johnson said two unidentified groups were arguing over where a jet ski should be in the water.
Johnson said someone started shooting and that a stray bullet hit Yitzian in the head and injured his grandfather.
The boy’s grandfather is Juan Carlos Mejia. He told 8 On Your Side when he heard gunshots, he pulled Yitzian into his truck, told him to get down, and covered his head with his hand.
“When I felt the gunshot in my hand, I turned to look at my grandson and his head turned.”
Yitzian was taken to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries. His grandfather was left without a finger.
The seven-year-old was only in Florida visiting his grandparents from New Jersey. He would’ve turned 8 years old in August.
His family wants the person responsible in this shooting to turn themselves into police.
“He didn’t kill an animal, he killed a human being, a baby starting to live that had nothing to do with his fights, with guns or nothing, we’re suffering, we lost a life,” Ayala said.