David Sanchez, 46, of Gainesville, Ga., died Thursday at Northeast Georgia Medical Center from injuries sustained in a robbery.
Sanchez, who was openly gay according to his friend Greg Bautista, was shot while outside Victory Processing plant on Memorial Park Drive in Gainesville. The Gainesville Times reports the Hall County Sheriff's Department said that Sanchez was with a woman when they were forced out of their car and then multiple shots were fired.
The woman was uninjured. Gainesville is located about 55 miles north of Atlanta.
Hall County law enforcement authorities said Sanchez was in the check-cashing business and was at the plant to cash employees’ checks. After shooting Sanchez,the gunmen stole the victim’s car with an undisclosed amount of money.
“When he started the business in 1999 with his sister, Diana, the store had less than 700 square feet with a focus on the Latino market and specializing in imported gold and silver jewelry plus apparel and planning for weddings and quinceaneras,” said Bautista, a local gay Latino community leader and director of Gainesville’s El Puente community center from 2001-2005. El Puente was attended primarily by Latino gay residents of Gainesville, he said.
“The store’s popularity grew constantly because of the family’s personal touch, strong community relationships and attention to detail, but mostly because of David’s vivacious charisma,” said Bautista.
Bautista said in 2005, Sanchez and his sister expanded their business to include a larger space as well as catering and limousine services.
In 2000, Sanchez and his family were major sponsors of the March for Peace organized by the youth group at St. Michael Catholic Church to protest gang violence.
Sanchez and his business also sponsored HIV prevention discussion groups at the El Puente Center.
“We always knew that if we ever needed help for any charity, we could always turn to David and his family for support,” Bautista added. “He had a kind heart and will be missed greatly.”