His family, The San Diego LGBT community and the Imperial Court System are mourning the tragic loss of community member Larry Macy.
Reports earlier this week came in from local leaders, friends, and family which said that Macy was killed by gunfire at a Tijuana restaurant.
Jerry Macy, the victim’s brother, spoke to San Diego Gay and Lesbian News about his brother’s commitment to serving the LGBT community and what happened according to Larry’s fiance Rigoberto, or Rigo, who was also there.
News reports coming out of a Tijuana newspaper confirm there was a shooting on that day, Saturday, October 21, however they fail to give names of the victims.
Rigo was able to take cover, but Macy was struck and killed by a stray bullet. Three others were also reported killed and as many were injured.
Jerry Macy says that he is getting eyewitness accounts from Rigo. English is not Rigo’s first language so he explained what happened to Tijuana friend and interpreter Georgio who in turn relayed that information to the victim’s brother, “Georgio is an American expat and he speaks Spanish and English very well so he’s been our information flow.”
Any other information beyond that Jerry says has come from the American Consulate, but he confirms that the reports of what happened are true.
“They were having a very nice weekend, they were getting a few business-related things done, ” said Jerry. “They were simply out to dinner at a small restaurant and, I don’t know if it was one or more people burst into the restaurant and just started opening fire on everybody inside. I know there’s three fatalities, it was reported in the Tijuana news and Larry was one of them. From everything we know he was tragically in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Larry Macy helped many people in the community, both in the United States and Mexico. He was Emperor Eight of the Sacramento Imperial Court, which is called the Court of the Great Northwest Imperial Empire.
Macy also was instrumental in reorganizing the Imperial Court in Tijuana, although some months ago he and his fiancé relocated to Puerto Vallarta. The couple was in Tijuana on Saturday to finalize some business before heading back down there, Larry even visiting Hillcrest while he was close by.
In order to understand the beacon the community has lost, one must first look at who Larry was. You would be hard-pressed to find anyone saying he was less than genuine.
“I have heard no one say anything negative about him,” said City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez who is also Queen Mother 1 of the Americas in the San Diego Imperial Court System, “Our community only talked positive about him and that tells you what kind of compassionate and giving man he was.”
Larry was a part of the generation when LGBT activism was just beginning.
“He lived through the time of Stonewall and those events and I know that he had told stories of knowing Harvey Milk when he was in San Francisco,” said his brother. “He left home at a very young age. He was an independent by the time he was sixteen or seventeen because that is who he needed to be not because he was rejected, I don’t feel that at all, but in fairness, I was in college at the time. But I think he needed to break out, and he was a pretty rebellious strike-out-on-your-own kind of a person, but I know he was in San Francisco during the Harvey Milk era and I think he was very proud of that, I think he learned a lot.”
As far as the violence that took his brother’s life he says even though he believes Larry and Rigo weren’t specifically targeted, “For me, it’s clearly a homicide,” said Jerry.
From a personal standpoint, Jerry says the reality is that his little brother is no longer in his life, but believes his spirit is still around. He says he’s not driven by needing to know exactly what happened. “That’s me and I can only speak for myself. It won’t bring him back,” he said. “I don’t have any belief that the situation in Tijuana in terms of the violence will change.”
“When we’re communicating with different folks who are living in the Tijuana area or San Diego about Tijuana, they say it has become an increasingly dangerous place to be, and the authorities are not effective in dealing with that.”
Jerry continues to say that he doesn’t believe anything will come of his brother’s death or even if anyone will be prosecuted, “It’s my understanding that there were no arrests. The gunman came in, came out but beyond that I don’t know what the investigation will say and we will request a copy of the police report, but we don’t know when we can expect to see that.”
Larry’s surviving brothers are currently working with Mexican authorities on a plan to claim Larry’s body, they say they are getting excellent assistance from the U.S.Consulate in Tijuana.
A family memorial service will be planned at some time in the future and they will relay that information once finalized, but given the international nature of the situation, it may take weeks before the remains can be released.
Jerry said he is very proud of his brother not the least of which is how he had a passion for human beings and demanded mutual respect
“And if there was anything that drove him it was the opportunity and really the passion and the need to make sure that he could be respected for the person he was and then to be an active player, a leader in my mind, to help throughout every environment in which he lived,” Jerry said emotionally. “Larry moved many, many times and lived in many, many places but as he grew and matured throughout his life, he was a leader, he was a very outspoken person. He always came with love and compassion he was never hesitant to let you know what he thought. And I know because of that, anybody who’s that direct and that open, you’re not necessarily beloved but you’re respected. I think that was very important for him.”