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Updated Oct 15, 2012 - 2:06 pm

October 15, 2012

Justin Ayala is shown. (Silent Witness)

There's no denying it: 22-year-old Justin Ayala was about as close to perfect as you could get for a son.

"He was very popular with young and old," said his mother, Deena Ayala. "There were almost 600 people at his funeral."

Deena Ayala said her son graduated from Washington High School where he was quarterback of the football team. He was studying sports medicine at Glendale Community College and coaching Pop Warner football. She described him as popular, humble and both respectful and respected.

"On May 18th, 2001, Justin was shot as he was driving away from the Filiberto's restaurant at 35th Avenue and Camelback," said Phoenix Police Sgt. Darren Birch. "It was completely random and it appears he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

Justin was shot in the neck and instantly paralyzed. He died six months later.

Deena wants justice for her son.

"He didn't hate the person that shot him and he asked me not to either," she said. "So I'm not looking for revenge, I just want to know who did it and why. As a mother, no one knows that feeling when you lose a child."

To read more about this crime, click here.

Our next crime happened Aug. 9, 2012. Two guys had just attended a sporting event in downtown Phoenix and were waiting for their ride in a parking lot at Central and Grant.

"Two men approached them and asked to use their cellphone," said Sgt. Burch. "The victims thought better of it and refused."

Burch said one of the suspects got angry and ripped a medallion from the neck of one of the victims then both of the robbers ran off.

To read more about this crime, click here.

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About the Author

Years with the company: 18

More on what you do (at work): I put up with Mac & Gaydos every day as well as writing and anchoring newscasts and doing some reporting. I also produce Silent Witness which airs every Monday morning.

Education: I started in radio during high school and kept with it. I also graduated from modeling school, but quickly realized it isn't what I love to do…radio is.

Family: Married. One pet…a cat named Molly (but she thinks her name is Princess).

Favorite food: I love anything cheesy or chocolatey.

Favorite spot in Arizona: Our family cabin in Strawberry.

Favorite news memory: Too many to list but I remember one time I helped rescue a litter of puppies found in a hole on an empty lot…

Favorite movie: I like too many to list any one as a favorite. I don't like sad movies so my LEAST favorite is Marley & Me!

First job: Washing dishes at the restaurant my friend's parents owned when I was 13.

First concert: Rick Springfield at the Arizona State Fair in 1981.

#1 sports team: Suns, Diamondbacks and Cardinals

Outside interests: I sing with the band at church, I bake, I read and I treasure hunt at thrift stores and yard sales. I also love to travel…but not if I have to drive.


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