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Mother, baby recovering after being shot by baby's father at Fargo restaurant, family says

A GoFundMe account for Lucia Garcia and her 7-month-old baby, Dominique, seeks money to defray their medical expenses. Malik Gill died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound hours after shooting the woman and child.

Lucia Garcia and son Dominique
Lucia Garcia and son Dominique.
Submitted photo
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FARGO — An online gift registry hints of the promise to come for a young family.

Lucia Tiareh Garcia, 21, and Malik Lamar Gill, 24, wrote about their excitement for the arrival of “baby Gill.”

Baby shampoo, pacifiers and a high chair were among the items still on their wish list, posted Oct. 8, 2021.

But somewhere between then and the last few months, something went horribly wrong.

Garcia is reported in critical but stable condition at Sanford Medical Center after being shot by Gill as she held their 7-month-old baby boy at Plaza Azteca restaurant in south Fargo on Wednesday, May 18.

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Law enforcement officers investigate a shooting May 18, 2022, at Plaza Azteca restaurant in south Fargo.
Michael Vosburg/The Forum

According to a new GoFundMe page for the family, Garcia’s injuries included a gunshot wound to the upper right chest area.

Garcia required surgery and a blood transfusion, and she was stable and awaiting a second surgery Thursday evening.

The baby boy, named Dominique, was wounded on the left thigh and left side of his abdomen, with the bullet hitting his left hand.

Surgery was performed on his hand, and the boy is expected to make a full recovery, according to the GoFundMe, which seeks $50,000 for the family’s medical expenses.

Gill was found in a stolen vehicle across the Red River in Clay County less than two hours after the shooting in Fargo, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. He’d crashed into a grove of trees near Hawley sometime after being pursued by sheriff’s deputies.

It wasn’t the first sign of trouble with the couple’s relationship, and Gill had a violent criminal history.

The GoFundMe site said their relationship had always been troubled, but Garcia insisted on making it work “for the sake of baby Dominique.”

“This is a tragedy and a nightmare to everyone involved, and our only focus right now is keeping Lucia and Dominique safe and on their path to recovery,” wrote Garcia’s sister, Jessica Lopez Garcia.

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A warrant for Gill’s arrest was issued for a previous incident in Cass County in April on charges of domestic violence and simple assault.

Court documents said on or about March 13, 2022, Gill injured Garcia by shoving her to the ground, grabbing her by the throat and pushing her.

The Forum requested a copy of that incident report but it was not made available by the county because the warrant was not served, a court clerk said.

Gill also should not have been able to possess a firearm following a felony conviction in Minnesota last year.

In May 2020, Gill pistol-whipped and injured a party-goer with a handgun at a Moorhead home after he and others had been taking ecstasy, according to court documents.

In January 2021, he was convicted on one of four charges against him in that incident.

On the conviction for second degree assault with a dangerous weapon, a five-year prison sentence was suspended, and Gill was sentenced to 90 days in jail and five years of supervised probation.

In the Wednesday incident, Gill confronted Garcia with a handgun inside the restaurant around 1:45 p.m., Fargo Police Chief David Zibolski said.

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Several patrons and staff were also inside, but no one else was hurt.

Zibolski said multiple shots were fired inside and outside as Garcia tried to run to safety with the baby.

Witnesses at the restaurant were able to get a license plate number on the vehicle that fled the scene. Around 2:25 p.m., there was a report of a stolen vehicle nearby, and a license plate number was obtained.

Clay County Sheriff Mark Empting said about 3:30 p.m., Gill was involved in a high-speed pursuit after deputies spotted the stolen vehicle on Minnesota Highway 9 about three miles south of the intersection with U.S. Highway 10.

M. Gill.JPG
Malik Lamar Gill.
Clay County Jail photo

Empting said law enforcement used OnStar tracking to follow the vehicle and stop sticks to flatten the tires.

After the vehicle later crashed, a drone was used to determine there was no movement in the vehicle, and officers located Gill’s body.

Meanwhile, the restaurant where the shooting occurred was closed Thursday but will open Friday, May 20, for a fundraiser for Lucia Garcia and her young son.

In a Facebook post, Plaza Azteca said it would donate 50% of the day’s sales to the family.

Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
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