60 on 6: A horrific gang related shooting that leaves an innocent woman deadFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It remains one of the most senseless crimes in the Valley, and it shook communities to the core.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - It remains one of the most senseless crimes in the Valley, and it shook communities to the core. This week we focus on the horrific gang-related shooting of Cherryl Tendeland.
Pat Tendeland - Cherryl's Husband: "Connie said he was going to shoot. I looked over and saw the barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun. Right then I stepped out and then I heard, 'Boom,' and that is when I the window broke on the car."
Just hours after losing his wife Cherryl, a shocked and injured Pat Tendeland of West Fargo talked to us about the life changing moment when teenager Barry Garcia walked up to their car and fired a sawed off shotgun.
Pat Tendeland: "Best grandma in the world, best wife. I loved her very much She thought the world of her boys and she did love her grandkids. They were number one."
The Tendelands and another couple were just returning from a prayer service in Hillsboro. It would later be determined that the Moorhead gang randomly drove to West Fargo to commit a crime. Cherryl, a much loved grandmother and member of the the community was the innocent one; wrong place, wrong time.
Connie Guler - Witnessed Shooting: "I had such a terrible feeling through the whole thing. Then when he came down off the berm our eyes met and the gun went, 'ping ping,' and I said, 'He's going to shoot!' and I maybed said 'Duck,' I don't know what I did."
The murder and revelation of the gang activity would spark community outrage. Gun permits skyrocketed, there were gang task forces, and community forums. Curfews throughout the metro, and during all of this a family mourned the loss.
Pat Tendeland: I hope they punish him to the fullest extent.
The shooter, 16 year-old Barry Garcia, would show no emotion during the trial. Other teens connected to the shooting would also be tried as adults. The very public and media saturated trial would grip the community for days.
"He would not kill an innocent lady, Barry would not do anything like that."
In July of 1996 Garcia would be sentenced to life without parole, but trouble would follow the convicted killer to prison, where he often became violent and violated prison regulations. Although still a state prisoner, he has been transferred to a federal prison.
The Tendeland killing led to special law enforcement gang strike force in the metro. The result was gangs leaving the area. Garcia is in a high security federal prison in Pennsylvania, just north of Philadelphia.