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Family of Phoenix father killed in July 4 shooting seeks justice

Family of Phoenix father killed in July 4 shooting seeks justice

PHOENIX (AZ family) — Paul Franco, 51, was shot and killed outside his Phoenix apartment complex as he returned home from a Fourth of July festival last Thursday night.

Arizona’s family sat down with Franco’s son and daughter Monday to talk about what happened.

“It hurts me a lot,” Serena Franco said. “I never thought this would happen to my father, because someone like him never deserved this.”

Serena and Paul Franco Jr. said their father and his girlfriend had just attended the Fabulous Phoenix Fourth event at Steele Indian School Park and were returning home when the girlfriend got into some sort of heated argument with pro-Palestinian protesters near Camelback Road and Central Avenue.

The verbal argument escalated.

Moments later, Paul Franco was hit by several bullets and was pronounced dead at the scene.

“He was a very kind and caring person,” Paul Franco Jr. said. “He always put others first. He was never prone to violence. He loved everybody.”

Phoenix police said a woman believed to be involved in the shooting was taken in for questioning and later released without charges, citing self-defense.

The Francos insist that it is impossible that their father threatened to hurt anyone.

“My dad would never hurt someone like that, and given the trauma of it, I can’t imagine what he was going through at that moment,” Serena Franco said. “We weren’t there to hold him. I wasn’t there to talk to him.”

Arizona’s family contacted Phoenix police and were told they were reviewing surveillance video and witness statements and that the investigation was ongoing.

The victim’s children know that nothing will bring their father back, but they believe that someone must be held responsible for their father’s death.

“There’s still no information about what led to this situation or what caused it to escalate,” Paul Franco Jr. said. “My father was not at all prone to violence, it was always the last resort.”

“I hope that anybody who has any information can come forward,” Serena Franco said. “It doesn’t matter how tiny or how small the information is, it’s all helpful, you know.”

The victim’s son and daughter confirmed that their father had a gun on him, but it is unclear whether he pulled it out first or shot someone.

Another man was also stabbed in the incident, but it may not be related to the shooting.

Phoenix police said once their investigation is complete, they will turn it over to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

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