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Father of Three Killed Over a Fake $20 Bill While Working One Night a Week at Taco Bell in South L.A.

12:53 PM PST on January 10, 2022

Violent tragedy struck at a South L.A. Taco Bell this past Saturday night. A father of three was murdered at the drive-thru while working amid a grisly weekend in Southern California that also saw a man light an Anaheim gas station on fire, a woman’s charred corpse discovered in Long Beach, and six people shot outside a warehouse party, following two years of rising homicides in the city.

Forty-one-year-old Alejandro Garcia was working the night shift alongside his 19-year-old son at the Taco Bell on East Century Boulevard just west of Avalon, in South L.A.’s small Green Meadows neighborhood. Shortly before 11 PM, Garcia was shot in the drive-through by a gunman wielding a semiautomatic pistol, following what investigators think was an argument over a counterfeit $20 bill. Reportedly shot in the heart, a Go Fund Me account set up to raise money for Garcia’s funeral claims he was killed instantly.

Family members tell ABC News that the murder occurred after Garcia’s son refused to accept the fraudulent bill for an order.

"I guess they got upset and they just started shooting," said the victim’s cousin, Nancy Garcia del Sol. "My nephew was close by so he closed the window but the shots ... they went in. [He] got shot in the heart, and that's what killed him, and he died there ... in front of his son's presence."

Police are now searching for two male suspects between the ages of 20 to 25, with no word on whether the suspects or their ride were captured on a security camera.

Garcia, it is said, was only working at Taco Bell one evening a week to make money for his family.

In a statement, Taco Bell offered, "We are shocked and saddened to hear that this happened… Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the team member in this difficult time.” The company says the location’s franchisee is assisting with the investigation.

Of course, much more than corporate condolences will be needed to see this family through a devastating loss like this murder. Fast food restaurants are a dangerous environment to work in. A recent report by Fight for $15 published last December shows that violent activity at fast-food restaurants across California generates tens of thousands of 911 calls a year. During this same weekend, a worker at a Burger King in Harlem was also killed while on the late shift. Last week in Mid-Wilshire, there was an altercation between a clerk at 7-11 and a man that led to a fatal stabbing as well.

In a time when fast-food chains and independent restaurants alike are voluntarily raising wages to fill ever-vacant job positions and entice people to come in and work during the dangerous pandemic age, here’s hoping Yum! Brands, which owns and franchises the Taco Bell brand and pulls in over $5 billion a year in profit, can step up and make it so Garcia’s children need never work again.

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