Man dies after being shot, run over at west Phoenix strip mall; driver arrested

Police have arrested a driver accused of shooting a man and running him over at a west Phoenix strip mall in broad daylight.

The Phoenix Police Department says officers responded to the area of 51st Avenue and Indian School Road for reports of a hit-and-run at around 3:15 p.m. on May 29 and found a man who had been shot.

The victim, identified by police as 56-year-old John Kearns, was taken to a hospital where he later died.

"The officers were informed Kearns was shot by the driver of the vehicle, then ran over by that vehicle when it drove away from the area," Sgt. Philip Krynsky said in a statement.

Detectives took 27-year-old Amani Kheirollah into custody on May 31 with help from a witness and surveillance video footage. 

Kheirollah now faces a number of charges including second-degree murder.

Amani Kheirollah

Amani Kheirollah

Suspect robbed victim days earlier, family says

"Nonsense. It was just ridiculous. It was real hard finding your uncle dead on the floor. Pretty hard," said one of Kearns' relatives, identified only as ‘Paul.' "He was an uncle of mine. Very good person. Wasn't [supposed] to die like that."

Paul told us that the shooting suspect and Kearns knew each other, and had gotten into an argument at the scene before the shooting.

"A guy robbed him a week before that, and he [has seen] him pulling in, and that’s when they got into a confrontation, and that’s when he shot him," said Paul.

Relatives say they hope the suspect is found and arrested. 

Very good person. He would help out everybody besides himself. Very good guy. He'll take the shirt of his back. He was a very good guy," said Paul. "Hope he does his time. I hope [Kearns] gets justice."

Police say the shooter drove off from the area in a passenger car. A possible motive for the killing has not been released, but investigators say this was not a random shooting.