NEW YORK (WABC) — A family from Staten Island is searching for truth and justice after their son was shot and killed while traveling abroad in Chile.
Eric Garvin, 38, was shot three times in the capital of Santiago on January 14 while taking a photo.
“From a father’s point of view, this is the darkest day in my life and my wife’s life,” said her father, Eric D. Garvin, who spoke exclusively to Wednesday’s Horror Show.
The victim’s father and sister flew to Chile to meet with investigators who are reviewing unreleased footage of the crime.
“What they told us was that my son was innocently walking down the street, stopped for a moment, took a picture of a house in an area full of drugs,” the Garvin said. “And the next moment, three men came across the street grabbed my son and stole his phone and shot him three times and he died on the spot.”
The 38-year-old lawyer by trade graduated from high school in Maryland and moved to Staten Island ten years ago.
He lived a life of service and research inspired by his father, a former US Air Force colonel.
“When he went to law school at the University of Maryland, he met a homeless man named Darnel who had a growth on his face, and he didn’t know what it was. thing and my son said ‘hie you need to go check that thing, make sure it’s OK,'” Garvin said. “What he finally found out was cancer. If it is not treated, he will die.”
Garvin said his son wants to use his advocacy for those who are often ignored.
Gene, as his family calls him, also worked with former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office on community initiatives to reduce gun violence in areas such as Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“I want people to be like him, I want people to make room for each other,” said his sister Naomi Garvin. “I want them to be curious about meeting each other and getting to know each other’s culture.”
Garvin’s sister, Naomi, said Santiago is a beautiful place with beautiful people and that authorities were assisting in the investigation in hopes of a quick arrest.
But the violence that has affected parts of Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia has now spilled over into Santiago. Murders in the city jumped 40% in the last six years.
Currently there is no warning from the US State Department in Chile.
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