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74-year-old man killed in Phoenix attack; his family calls it a hate crime

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 7:06 AM CST
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PHOENIX (KPHO/KTVK) - The family of a 74-year-old Asian man who was killed believes he was the victim of a hate crime.

Police have a suspect in custody but said they don’t have evidence of that motive.

Phoenix Police said Juanito Falcon was walking when a man attacked him for no apparent reason. His family says they want justice.

“I’m deeply sad. I’m scared, and I’m devastated, and of course I feel angry,” Jacklyn Lozada said.

She describes her uncle as kind and charismatic. She can’t imagine why anyone would attack him.

“You took a very special person away from us, and he had so many more years to give and so much more love,” Lozada said.

Court documents say Marcus Williams punched Juanito Falcon until he fell to the ground, “striking his head on the pavement.”

The 74-year-old died two days later, and police arrested Williams for second-degree murder.

Although investigators say they don’t have any evidence the victim was targeted for his race, Falcon’s niece, Lysander Lanuza, believes otherwise.

“Being Asian that he is, I believe he was specifically targeted,” she said.

With so many mysteries surrounding Falcon’s death, the family is keeping their focus on the loving legacy he left behind.

“We always felt loved by him. we always felt safe, and he always made us smile,” Lozada said.

Copyright 2021 KPHO/KTVK via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.