The family of a Hoboken man who was gunned down in the fall has filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging that officials knew about an “illegal liquor stand” at the housing authority and did nothing about it until after the homicide.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“For the several months leading up to the shooting, a makeshift stand was routinely operated for the illegal sale of alcoholic beverages outdoors late into the night and into the early morning hours,” the seven-page, three-count lawsuit, filed in Hudson County Superior Court yesterday, says.
” … At the time of the September 25, 2022 shooting, which occurred around 3:00 a.m., the proprietors of the illegal stand had already sold large quantities of alcohol to dozens of residents and other individuals who had congregated upon the Hoboken Housing Authority property since the previous day’s dusk, causing many of the aforesaid individuals to become visibly intoxicated.”
According to the suit, where Evilyn Aviles, Christopher Garcia’s mother, and his brother, Jeffrey Garcia, are suing the city, HHA, police department, and John Does/governmental entities 1-10, the stand was commonly situated at or about the 501 Marshall Drive basketball court.
Deon Williams, 25, of Jersey City, who was charged with Christopher Garcia’s murder by the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office in November, allegedly consumed alcohol at the liquor stand before a physical confrontation ensued.
“On September 25, 2022, Mr. Garcia was shot first in the leg (at or about the Subject Premises) and then later in the chest by a patron of an illegal liquor stand that had been set up for months, continuously serving alcohol to the residents of the Subject Premises and adjacent affordable housing well into the night and early morning hours,” the suit claims.
Through their attorney Eric Warner, Aviles and Jeffrey Garcia assert that the liquor stand had been operating for months prior to the homicide, often leading to “fighting and similar mayhem,” but no one from the city or housing authority ever attempted to shut it down.
“The illegal liquor stand, serving unauthorized beverages outdoors and into the early morning hours, closely situated to all local public housing projects, created an unstable and highly dangerous situation, which eventually resulted in Mr. Garcia’s death.”
The suit is seeking damages for survivorship, wrongful death, and negligent infliction of emotional distress since Jeffrey Garcia witnessed his brother get shot and killed.
A GoFundMe page for Christopher Garcia, who was 28 years old when he was murdered, raised $13,914 from 203 donors. He was also remembered as an entrepreneur who had a fashion line and a community organizer that had hosted events and charitable drives.
A city spokeswoman said they do not comment on pending litigation.