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Family members mourn loss of dad killed during apparent robbery


By Jason Barry

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    PHOENIX (KPHO) — Family photos show the kind of devoted dad Sam Casas was, always making time for his son Jayden, 8. Their close bond is why it was so hard for Jayden’s mother, Dakota Baker, to tell her boy that his father had been murdered.

“He misses his dad very much,” said Baker. “He was more than just a dad, he was his best friend, his hero. He was robbed of a lifetime of memories with him.”

The 30-year-old father, who’d been working as a mechanic, was shot and killed Aug. 7 outside his apartment complex off Ninth Street and Bell Road in Phoenix. Police believe it was a robbery attempt.

Witnesses told police that some men approached Casas’ car around 9 in the morning, opened fire and then took off. No arrests have been made.

“It’s just like a punch to the gut,” said Baker. “We realize we can’t just call him or visit him at work or see him and go grab dinner together.”

About six years ago, Casas was paralyzed from the waist down following a tree trimming accident. But that didn’t stop him from getting on with his life. His family never imagined tragedy would strike again. “He didn’t deserve this,” said Baker. “My son doesn’t deserve to cry at night and have nightmares because he’s scared now that something will happen to me and he’s going to be left alone.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Jayden and his mother with expenses, as the boy grows up without his father.

Jayden’s mom hopes that by sharing their story, it will help police catch the killer. “I don’t want anybody else to have to go through what my son and I are going through,” said Baker. If anyone has any information about this case contact the Phoenix Police Department.

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