DALLAS - Students and staff at Booker T. Washington High School are mourning the death of a student.
Police said 18-year-old Damian Garcia went to NorthPark Center with friends Friday afternoon. He consumed some type of tablets and had a bad reaction that caused him to run out into the parking lot.
A security guard approached Garcia as he got close to a high wall near Northwest Highway and the Central Expressway service road. Police said Garcia ran away from the guard and back toward the mall.
A few minutes later he returned to the bridge and either jumped or lost his balance, falling into traffic below, police said.
Detectives are still interviewing Garcia's friends and witnesses. They’re trying to determine what kind of tablets the teen ingested and where he got them. They do believe he took them willingly.
Although the investigation is still open, police said at this point the case is classified as a suicide.
A YouCaring.com page that was set up for Garcia describes him as a “gifted and talented cellist, and a senior at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas.”
“This is a great loss to so many family and friends who loved Damian,” the page states.
According to an Inside Dallas ISD article, Garcia was part of a string quartet that performed with professional musicians for the "Beatles vs. Stones – A Musical Shoot Out” show in Arlington last year. He and the other student musicians were praised for their talent as members of the Dallas Symphony Young Strings Program and the Dallas Regional All-Honors Orchestra.
Classmates gathered to remember Garcia at a candlelight vigil Sunday night. Booker T. Principal Scott Rudes said in a letter to parents that students also have access to grief counselors.
"I have visited with Damian’s family. They are truly appreciative of the outpouring of love and support over these past two days. On behalf of our entire school, I shared our deepest condolences and united resolve to support their family through this tragedy," Principal Rudes said.
The teen's funeral is set for Tuesday.