Emergency officials in south Killeen responded to a person lying in the street, and attempted to save the person’s life; however, the person later died.
The 24-year-old person was seen in the street surrounded by police and paramedics about 1:15 p.m. as emergency officials appeared to do chest compressions to the body on Stefek Drive, a residential street near South Fort Hood Street.
Police identified the person as Jessica Garcia. However, a family member said his name is Leon Garcia, a transgender male.
“Technically he was born a girl named Jessica, but my child has been known as Leon for years,” Leon’s mother, Sandra Garcia, told the Herald Wednesday.
Police said Garcia, who had a head injury, and was lying in the road upon arrival, died at the scene.
Sandra Garcia said she and Leon were on their way to an appointment to get a new Texas driver’s license for a new job he had recently secured at Walmart.
“He wanted someone to go with him (to get his driver’s license) because he was getting overwhelmed with the situation,” Sandra Garcia told the Herald. “I was telling him, ‘You’re going to be late for your appointment,’ and he started screaming at me.”
Sandra Garcia said her son struggled with schizophrenia and would sometimes become easily overstimulated in stressful situations.
“And so he said, ‘I’m jumping out,’ and he literally said it as he was jumping out,” she said.
Leon Garcia’s mother said she was driving at a low speed when the incident happened and that she, “didn’t know he got hurt so bad.”
“I know he meant to not kill himself,” Sandra Garcia said. “He probably thought he was going to roll like those stunt people on TV, but it doesn’t work that way. This is a lesson for people — jumping out of a car doesn’t always end up with a few scrapes and bruises.”
Police were called to the scene at 12:50 p.m., and Garcia was declared dead at 1:46 p.m. by Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke.
The preliminary investigation revealed that the vehicle, a silver Nissan SUV, driven by Sandra Garcia, was traveling east on Stefek Drive when Leon Garcia, who was sitting in the back seat, apparently opened the door and exited the vehicle while it was moving.
Sandra Garcia came to a stop on the side of the road and was uninjured, according to police.
“He was such an awesome child,” Sandra Garcia said. “He was very bright. I loved the way he would be so animated when he talked about stuff. He was a big personality. If you’d met him, you’d be impressed, because he was highly intelligent. It’s just the demons of the schizophrenia that got him. I still can’t believe he’s gone.”
Cook ordered an autopsy to be performed at the Southwest Institute of Forensic Science in Dallas.