Community honors man who helped save pregnant teacher from gang - KCTV5

Community honors man who helped save pregnant teacher from gang of teens 50 years ago

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

It was 50 years ago this month that a young man and his brother rescued their pregnant teacher from a gang of teenagers who were assaulting her.

One of the heroes, 23-year-old Primativo Garcia, was shot during the struggle to save the woman and died days later.

Today, a community came together to honor the young man and the family that raised him to be the best kind of person he could be.

It’s been 50 years since Margaret Kelso was attacked and she remembers every detail.

“They were calling me names,” she said. “They were talking about my body parts. They were being really vulgar and rude. I told them, ‘I'm pregnant. I'm going to have a baby in three months. Please leave me alone.’ I begged them. They didn't care.”

However, two of her students did care; Primativo “Tivo” Garcia and his brother Alfredo.

“We were getting off our class when we heard somebody screaming, a lady screaming for help,” Alfredo Garcia recalled. “It was our own teacher.”

The brothers rushed over and pulled the attackers off Kelso.  Tivo was shot during the ordeal and later died from his injuries.

Fifty years is a long time, but Tivo Garcia will never be forgotten.

“It means a lot because it's what I would like for a hero,” he said. “My brother, I think, is a hero.”

Hundreds of children attend the school that bears his name in KCK. Fifth graders presented the families with a song they wrote about their hero.

Community leaders also named this week Primativo Garcia week and the Kansas City Mexican Consulate honored him with a certificate of appreciation.

Tivo Garcia was not here long enough, but he was a shining example of humanity and one whose lessons live on.

“During the 13 days he lived after the shooting, he told me, 'Thank you,'” Kelso said. “I would tell him 'thank you.'”

Kelso lives in California now. She traveled back to Kansas City just for today’s event, along with her daughter and her grandson, who is named Tivo.

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