Vigil for Waterloo stabbing victim - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Vigil for Waterloo stabbing victim

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WATERLOO (KWWL) - A candlelight vigil in Waterloo Thursday night remembered 18-year-old Kevin Garcia.

Garcia was stabbed to death in Exchange Park Tuesday night.

Two other teens were seriously hurt. Witnesses say it began as a fistfight but escalated out of control.

Many are calling for an end to the violence.

More than 100 people gathered at Exchange Park Thursday night to remember Kevin Garcia.

They stood just a few yards from where the Waterloo teenager's life ended 48 hours earlier.

Friends say the East High School student wasn't a gang member.

"Kevin was not gang-related. He was not gang-related. Just some stupid stuff. He's like my brother. He always made me laugh. He loved dancing," said friend Anthony Hayes.

For the dozens of friends, family, and classmates, they say Kevin will definitely be missed.

While they try to make sense of what happened, others say it should be a wakeup call to young people.

Those who organized the vigil say they want the violence to stop. They say young people in a threatening situation to tell an adult so the adult can call the proper authorities.

Local pastors and others urged many young people in the crowd to seek out help to stay safe.

"I think they think they can handle it with the fighting and whatever but they just need to grab ahold of somebody and talk about it and try to resolve these conflicts in another way cause you see what happened," said Black Hawk County NAACP President Sharon Goodson.

One parent of one of the other victims agrees.

"It has to stop right here. It can't be an eye for an eye because that'll lead to more problems and more deaths in Waterloo," said Michael Adams.

At the vigil, many say gatherings like this could help turn others away from violence.

For the Garcia family, it's too late.

Police say they're still looking for a person of interest in the case but have made no arrests.

Funeral arrangements for Kevin Garcia have been set.

Visitation is set for Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Burton Avenue Baptist Church in Waterloo.

Services will be held that afternoon at 1:30 p.m. at the church.

Online Reporter:  Bob Waters

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