ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The man police say shot and killed 4-year-old Iliana “Lilly” Rose Garcia during a road rage fit is facing a long list of charges.
Detectives say Tony Torrez, 32, has confessed to firing the bullet that struck and eventual killed Lilly Garcia.
The conflict started on Tuesday when according to court documents Lilly’s father told police a red Toyota cut him off, forcing him to swerve, that’s when the dad, Alan Garcia, threw up his hands and the two drivers cursed at each other. Garcia says he then tried to put distance between him and the other driver, and that’s when he heard gunshots. His son then told him his sister was bleeding.
Four-year-old Lilly Garcia, her seven-year-old brother and dad were inside the vehicle.
Torrez is being held on a $650,000 cash only bond. He has been charged with first degree murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, assault with murder, the intent to commit a violent felony, shooting at or from a motor vehicle, child abuse, child abuse resulting in death and tampering with evidence. Torrez is expected to make a court appearance Thursday afternoon.
KRQE searched Torrez’s criminal history and saw about a half-dozen arrests over the past decade for everything from child abuse and domestic violence to aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.What Lead to Arrest
Authorities were offering a $36,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in Tuesday’s road rage shooting, “as we asked for the communities help on the 21st we received an anonymous call from a person who reported they knew who had shot Lilly” said Albuquerque Police Chief Gorden Eden. The caller insisted on remaining anonymous, saying they feared retaliation. Since the caller has not come forward, it is likely that the reward money will go unclaimed.
The car used in the road rage shooting is described as a maroon or dark red newer model Toyota sedan. Officers believe that car is in the garage of a Westgate home and are waiting on a search warrant to seize it.
Albuquerque police caught up with Torrez at his home in Westgate Thursday. They followed him as he drove away in a different car and pulled him over near Central and Sunset where they arrested him without incident. When Torrez was being questioned, police said he confessed to the murder.Torrez’s criminal history
Torrez has been charged for violent crimes numerous times over the years, but each time he got off.
In the last 10 years, Torrez has been charged with drug possession, assault, child abuse, kidnapping and receiving stolen property.
A domestic violence case from 2010 says Torrez “put the gun in [his girlfriend’s] mouth and stated he was going to kill her” in front of their six-year-old son.
As far back as 2006, Torrez was involved in a road rage incident in this parking structure downtown. The complaint says Torrez was blocking cars trying to get out of the garage, and when a driver complained, he “pulled the gun from his waistband and pointed the gun at [the man’s] face.”
Each time the charges were dismissed or dropped.
APD Chief Gorden Eden says it speaks to the systematic failure of the legislature and it speaks to the systematic failure of the court system.
This time police are carefully building the case against Torrez. They found the car he was driving, parked in the garage of his home in Westgate. They have also recovered the gun Torrez used, and will be testing it.Family: Road rage killing should never happen
The grandfather of a 4-year-old girl killed in a road rage shooting says something has to be done about gun violence. Jose Garcia told The Associated Press outside the family’s home on Thursday that this type of tragedy should never happen. The grandfather, who spoke in Spanish, says Lilly Garcia’s death has left the family in deep mourning.