Police seek witnesses to student’s senseless killing

August 12th, 2009 by

The family of a 23-year-old student shot Saturday while he was waiting in line to buy a late-night snack is pleading with witnesses to come for ward.

Tampa police say 30 to 40 people were in the parking lot at 4021 W Hillsborough Ave. when Alquan Garner and his friend, 27-year-old Eriberto Reyes, lined up to buy food from a por table canteen.

A man accused Reyes of cutting in line. Words were exchanged, the man pulled out a gun and started firing. Garner was hit by an errant bullet and died a short time later. Reyes was shot three times, and is hospitalized in seri­ous but stable condition.

T he shooter is described as an His­panic man with a thin build and dark complexion, 5-feet-8 to 5-feet-10, 150 to 170 pounds. He was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a dark-colored baseball hat. Police are also looking for three or four other Hispanic men dressed similarly to the shooter.

Rich Ingwall, the uncle of Garner’s fiancee, said the fam­ily wants to make sure the suspect doesn’t strike again. “It just breaks all of our hearts,” Ingwall said. “We just beg the community to step forward.”

Garner and his fiancee, Sarah Mayor, lived together on Black Swan Cour t in Seffner, and were planning a wed­ding, Ingwall said. “Now the family is planning a funeral.”

Mayor said she couldn’t understand how a life could be lost in such a circ umstance.

“I hope they catch the guy who did this before he can hurt someone else,’’ she said. “He was so anxious to get a sandwich that he was willing to take a life. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Mayor and Garner met while working at a movie the­ater in Brandon.

“Al was an honors student,” she said. “He had lots of plans for the future and worked hard to make our dreams happen. We bought a house together and had our entire lives ahead of us.”

Mayor said Garner had offered to quit school to help put her through pharmacy school.

“It’s going to take a long time for me to understand why this had to happen,” she said.

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