The family of a New York City lawyer who was fatally shot while traveling in Chile is searching for justice and hoping for the swift arrests of the victim’s killers. According to PEOPLE, Eric E. Garvin’s father took to Facebook to share details about his son’s killing, saying the incident marks “the darkest chapter of our lives because we are living every parent’s worst nightmare.”
In the post, Eric D. Garvin said his son went missing in the South American nation’s capital, Santiago, on January 14. Garvin, who revealed his son loved traveling abroad and had likely been to 40 countries, said Santiago Police on January 21 informed him and his wife that their son had been found in a hospital morgue.
Per ABC7 New York, Eric, 38, was taking a picture in Santiago on January 14 when he was gunned down. In the wake of his killing, Eric’s father and sister traveled to Chile to bring the victim “back home” and also meet with U.S. Embassy officials and Santiago Detectives, Garvin shared on Facebook.
“What they told us is my son was innocently walking down the street, paused for a moment, took a snapshot of a building in a drug-infested area,” Garvin told the news outlet. “And immediately following that, three gentlemen came across the street grabbed my son and stole his phone and shot him three times and he died there on the scene.”
Eric in 2010 graduated from the University of Maryland with a Juris Doctor (JD) degree, his LinkedIn profile states. He was also a staffer at former Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office from 2016 to 2021. During that period, he is said to have worked on community programs to mitigate gun violence in locations including Brownsville, Brooklyn.
“I want people to be more like him, I want people to make space for each other,” Eric’s sister, Naomi Garvin, said. “I want them to be curious about meeting each other and experiencing each other’s cultures.”
The office of New York City Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams also paid tribute to Eric in a Twitter post. “Described by friends as a bright young man and committed public servant, Eric Garvin will be deeply missed by the Staten Island community and by the entire city,” the tweet said. “We send peace, love and light to his family in the wake of a devastating act of gun violence.”
Over the last six years, homicides in Santiago have spiked by 40%, ABC7 New York reported. Violence emanating from locations in Venezuela, Brazil and Colombia is now said to be crossing over to the South American city.
In his Facebook post, Garvin also expressed gratitude for the “abundance of love, prayers and donations” they have received. “We are speechless about this amazing outpouring of love,” he shared. “The first few days we couldn’t see any light in this tragic news, but today we are beginning to see a glimmer of light and hope. Your prayers and your love are helping us see to the light again.”