Pinole rapper killed in park
Former Comet athlete Garcia, 25, murdered
Published: Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, February 29, 2012 22:02
Investigators are searching for the murder suspects of former Contra Costa College student and local rapper Rene Garcia, who was shot and killed at Shields-Reid Park in North Richmond on Feb. 21.
Richmond Police Detective Nicole Abetkov said police have a few leads and are looking to the public to provide any information regarding the ongoing homicide investigation.
The Pinole resident, 25, was standing near the park's basketball courts when he was approached and killed by gunmen, Abetkov said.
The city's ShotSpotter system was activated and detected about 20 gunshots coming from the park at 6:47 p.m. When medical personnel arrived at 7 p.m., Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police did not say whether or not Garcia was with anyone before he was shot.
After graduating from Richmond High School, Garcia began attending CCC in 2004 and took a variety of general education courses, including various history, business, real estate and math courses. The bulk of his course load, however, consisted of physical education courses.
In fall 2009, Garcia played on the Comet men's soccer team as a midfielder and striker, but quit two-thirds of the way into the season.
"He was not happy and felt he wasn't getting enough playing time," CCC coach Rudy Zeller said.
Zeller remembered Garcia, despite his short stint on the team, as being an outgoing and entertaining individual.
"He was a fun guy," Zeller said. "He played his CD for (the team) on an away game trip and sang the lyrics to us."
Garcia performed his raps under the moniker "Lil G" and posted several music videos on YouTube that have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
Following his departure from the college's soccer team, Garcia started taking significantly fewer courses, averaging one to two physical education courses a semester.
The last course he signed up for at CCC was Statistics in fall 2010. From then on, he took physical education courses solely at Diablo Valley College and at the time of his death, Garcia was enrolled in a badminton course there.
"(His death is) so tragic," Zeller said. "He's the third player of mine to die within a year."
Garcia's death marks the fifth homicide in Richmond so far this year, as well as the first in North Richmond, Richmond Police Robbery and Homicide Detective Tim Gard said.
If anyone has any information pertinent to the investigation, contact Gard at 510-965-4906.