The family of a 38-year-old man is hoping for justice after their loved one was shot and killed while vacationing in Chile. Eric Garvin was gunned down in the capital city of Santiago.
“This is the darkest chapter of our lives because we are living every parent’s worst nightmare,” Garvin’s father, Eric D. Garvin Sr., said in a Facebook post.
According to the victim’s father, the family started to worry and reported him missing on Jan. 14. A week later, Chilean authorities delivered horrific news to the family.
“Our son was finally found by the Santiago Police in a hospital morgue,” the victim’s dad continued.
A preliminary report suggests the victim was robbed and shot by at least three men in what appears to be a random attack. Police believe Garvin had just finished dinner downtown before he was killed.
“They told us my son was innocently walking down the street, paused for a moment, and took a snapshot of a building in a drug-infested area,” Garvin’s father told the New York Post. “Immediately following that, three gentlemen came across the street, grabbed my son and stole his phone, and shot him three times, and he died on the scene.”
A Lawyer Who Loved To Travel
The victim’s family says public service was his passion. Garvin was a lawyer based in Staten Island who loved to travel.
“He was doing what he loved to do, which was travel abroad,” said Garvin Sr. “He’s likely been to more than 40 Countries.”
Garvin Jr. was set to fly to Argentina the next day with a friend on the trip before he was killed. The friend was not with him during the incident.
Garvin Jr. reportedly moved to Staten Island from Maryland to attend law school. He worked for the New York City Council and the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Some of Garvin’s work under former Mayor Bill de Blasio includes combatting gun violence throughout the city.
Garvin Sr. and the victim’s sister traveled to Chile to meet with investigators and the U.S. Embassy to begin what he calls the “journey to justice.” They are also making arrangements to bring his body back to the States.
“We hope to learn more about what happened,” the victim’s father adds. “To date, Santiago authorities have not told us much. We are hoping we will learn more.”
As the family deals with such tragic events, people from all over the world send their condolences.
A Community Remembers “Bright Young Man Committed To Public Service”
“Deeply saddened to hear the news of Eric Garvin’s passing, “Staten Island Assemblyman Charles Fall tweeted. “Eric was a dear friend to me and many in our community. My heartfelt condolences are with Margie Garvin and the entire Garvin family.”
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. We send peace, love and light to his family in the wake of a devastating act of gun violence. https://t.co/bkf4RPKB8t— Office of the Public Advocate Jumaane D. Williams (@nycpa) January 24, 2023
“What a tragedy,” Twitter user Larry Gibson said. “Eric was intelligent, articulate, thoughtful, and he had a genuine concern for the wellbeing of others. What a loss!”
We are saddened to hear of the loss of Community Advocate Eric Garvin. Eric had a bright future ahead of him. We join the community in sending our prayers and condolences to the Garvin family.https://t.co/oW5klCHrmp— Kamillah M. Hanks (@KamillahMHanks) January 24, 2023
Is Chile Safe For Black Travelers?
According to The U.S. Department of State, Chile has a Level 2 travel advisory as of Oct. 4, 2022. Level 2 urges travelers to exercise increased caution due to civil unrest.
“Large-scale demonstrations periodically occur in Santiago and other cities in Chile,” the advisory reads. “Demonstrations can take place with little or no notice and often result in disruptions to transportation, including service on public buses and the Santiago Metro.”
While the State Department urges travelers to keep a low profile and be aware of their surroundings, Garvin Jr.’s death is a tale of caution for all of us. It’s unclear at this time if the State Department will change its advisory.
This story is developing.