Community honors slain high school grad with candlelight vigil

Loved ones seek justice for teen

As the community continues to mourn the loss of a 16-year-old shot and killed in Fairfield Township, her loved ones are fighting for change while the police search for information.

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Dozens of people gathered at Marcum Park in Hamilton Monday night to stand united in honor of Sydney Garcia Tovar.

"She really didn't deserve what happened to her," said Krishauna Greenlee, one of Garcia Tovar's close friends who organized the vigil.

Garcia Tovar's family and friends have said she was a compassionate and kind soul who never knew a stranger.

"No matter who you were, color, age, height, sexuality, she cared about everybody she met," said Greenlee.

Garcia Tovar died at the hospital on July 24, hours after she was shot in a car in the parking lot of the Tyler's Creek complex in Fairfield Township.

"There's no need to pull that trigger. It leaves everybody hurt and traumatized," said Eric Smyth, Garcia Tovar's friend.

Witnesses have stated that a fight turned violent, and Garcia Tovar was nothing but an innocent bystander. For that very reason, those gathered at Monday's vigil hope her passing will prompt a change in the Hamilton community where Garcia Tovar lived out her life and graduated high school early.

"I think people should be smarter in the way they use weapons," said Kelsey Helton, a friend.

Though darkness is surrounding them now, those who knew Garcia Tovar best are hoping there's a bright light waiting at the end of the tunnel -- a light that brings them closer to ending gun violence and closer to finding out the truth.

"People know more than they're letting on, and they need to speak on it because Sydney didn't deserve this, and she deserves to have justice and be able to go in peace," said Madison Hilton, Garcia Tovar's friend.

Fairfield Township police are still investigating the shooting. They have said that three other people were in the car with Garcia Tovar that night, including a 22-year-old man who was also shot. Anyone with information is urged to call 513-887-4406.

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