A hole left in a wall of a Santa Monica College parking lot where Carlos Franco’s red SUV truck crashed after he and his daughter were shot at Friday.

The Los Angeles Times has a remembrance of Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, who died after being shot Friday in a rampage that left five people dead and culminated in a shootout in the Santa Monica College campus library. From the Times:

For 22 years, Carlos Navarro Franco tended the grounds of Santa Monica College. An immigrant from Mexico, he was proud that his hard work helped plant the seeds for his children’s education.

His youngest daughter, Marcela, 26, was studying psychology and was signed up to take summer classes at the college.

On Friday, father was driving daughter to buy books for those classes on campus when a gunman fired at their red SUV.

College President Chui L. Tsang sent this letter to the campus community:

It is with deep sadness that I inform you that Carlos Navarro Franco, 68, a groundskeeper and longtime member of the Santa Monica College family, was killed Friday afternoon during the tragic series of shootings that culminated on our Main campus.

Franco’s youngest daughter, Marcela, 26, was also one of the victims of Friday’s shootings. She is in critical condition at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and is not expected to survive. A student at CSU Dominguez Hills, Marcela was with her father on the SMC campus to purchase textbooks for summer classes.

Carlos was truly a family man.  He was a dedicated husband and father and an integral part of the Santa Monica College family. His dedicated work to the campus grounds was enjoyed by students and visitors for two decades.  He will be sorely missed.

A groundskeeper whose work was appreciated by anyone who strolled through the Main Campus, especially the quad, Carlos was a dedicated worker for 22 years. Those close to him say that he devoted his life to his work and to his family.

When asked to describe Carlos, Tom Corpus, his supervisor, said: “Carlos was a very, very hard worker.  He loved his job. He tried to make people happy and make sure he did the best job he could.  He was all about his job.  He was just a great asset to the college. Everything Carlos did was for the college and for his family.”

The afternoon Carlos died, he was on his way with Marcela to meet his oldest daughter, Leticia, for a doctor’s appointment.

“Every time I visited him, he would talk about his daughters and his family,” said his nephew Mario Franco, a member of SMC’s Workforce and Economic Development Department.  “He was a big family man. Everything he did was literally for his daughters.”

The death of Carlos, who died at the scene, and the injuries to Marcela as they exited the lot at 20th and Pearl streets, were not the first tragedy to strike the Franco family. Carlos’ son died two summers ago in a car accident.

Carlos’ immediate family includes his wife, Ramona, who works at Saint John’s Hospital Child Study Center, and his daughters, Leticia and Marcela.

Carlos’ extended SMC family includes nephew Mario Franco, Student Services Specialist Sandra Franco and Board of Trustee Member Margaret Quiñones-Pérez.

The Santa Monica College Foundation has established a memorial fund honoring Carlos Franco.

Donations can be made to The Carlos Franco Family Memorial Fund. Donations may be made at https://foundation.smc.edu/FrancoMemorial after 3 p.m. Saturday. Or by mail to:

The Santa Monica College Foundation

1900 Pico Boulevard

Santa Monica, CA 90405

The College is in the process of planning a campus-wide memorial and will provide details in the near future.

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  • Carolyn Niblick

    My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. I was especially touched by the remembrance for the groundskeeper, Carlos Franco. My father was also a groundskeeper at the college back in the late 1950's/early 60's. His name was Alfred Runyan and, like Carlos, he took great pride in his work and was respected and beloved by the college community. I spent many happy hours in his little office under the stadium and accompanying him on his rounds throughout the campus. Somewhere on the campus there is a plaque dedicated to his memory. Perhaps Carlos came across it as he tended to the landscape. I know that Carlos and his daughter, Marcela, will be sorely missed. My sympathies go out to his wife and family and to all those affected by this terrible tragedy.

  • Kans Creedo

    I would like to donate to the fund, but am not seeing specifically how the funds will be used. Could you please offer that clarification? Thank you.

  • Nancy D.

    I, too, would like to make a donation – to directly assist the Franco family. Will these monies assist the family or is it meant to set up memorial to honor the family? Thank you.

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