The Latest: Parents hit by violent road rage 'holding up'

AP News
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Posted: Oct 22, 2015 7:02 PM
The Latest: Parents hit by violent road rage 'holding up'

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The latest on the road rage killing of a 4-year-old girl on a New Mexico freeway (all times local):

5 p.m.

An Albuquerque city councilor says the parents of a 4-year-old girl killed during a road-rage shooting are surrounded by family and friends.

Councilor Rey Garduno told The Associated Press on Thursday that Alan and Veronica Garcia are holding up emotionally but often get overwhelmed.

Police say Iliana "Lily" Rose Garcia was shot in the head Wednesday during an expletive-filled encounter on an Albuquerque interstate. Authorities say 32-year-old Tony Torrez cut off the girl's father, chased him and then fired four shots toward his car.

Torrez has been charged with murder, assault, child abuse and other crimes. He made a court appearance from jail via video as a judge reviewed the terms of his $650,000 cash-only bond.

Todd Farkas, his lawyer, declined to comment.

Garduno is organizing a vigil Saturday in honor of the girl.

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2:32 p.m.

A man accused of the road rage killing of a 4-year-old girl on an Albuquerque freeway has had his initial court appearance.

Tony Torrez appeared on a TV screen from jail Thursday afternoon, standing next to a public defender assigned to represent him. Torrez had his head down most of the time and didn't appear to make any comments.

The 32-year-old has been charged with murder and other crimes in the shooting death of Lilly Garcia. He's being held on a $650,000 cash-only bond.

As Judge Chris Schultz reviewed the terms of Torrez's bond, Schultz said, "This is possibly one of the most wanton and atrocious acts in the history of this city."

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1:16 p.m.

Authorities released new details Thursday about the road-rage killing of a 4-year-old girl who was shot to death after an expletive-filled encounter on the freeway that began with the suspect cutting off the girl's father and included swerving, a chase and four shots fired.

In a criminal complaint, police say suspect Tony Torrez cut off the father of Lilly Garcia on Interstate 40 on Tuesday.

Alan Garcia then threw up his hands and called the suspect a name. Torrez allegedly said something back and fired two shots.

Garcia says he sped up as his 7-year-old son said "she's bleeding."

Garcia says he heard more shots and pulled off the road to give first aid to his daughter.

Police say they located Torrez with the help of an anonymous tipster who feared retaliation.

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12:18 p.m.

A man accused of the road rage killing of a 4-year-old girl on an Albuquerque freeway has been tied to violent crimes in New Mexico over the past decade but the cases were dropped.

Tony Torrez has only been prosecuted for a speeding violation. Court records say Torrez pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor speeding violation for going 16 to 20 mph over the speed limit in April 2013.

Around that time, charges including abandonment or abuse of a child and aggravated battery of a household member were dismissed after the victim died.

Prosecutors also were not able to proceed with 2006 domestic violence charges.

The 32-year-old Torrez was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder and other crimes in the shooting death of Lilly Garcia.

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11:15 a.m.

The grandfather of a 4-year-old girl killed in a road rage shooting in New Mexico 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.

They live just south of the freeway where Tuesday's shooting occurred. Lilly Garcia was killed after a driver opened fire on her father's pickup truck.

Police arrested 32-year-old Tony Torrez on Wednesday and charged him with murder and other crimes.