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Crime Friend mourns veteran shot to death in north Phoenix bar

16:50  13 february  2020
16:50  13 february  2020 Source:   azcentral.com

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Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. The homicide is in an area near North 35th Avenue and West Beardsley Road, according to Phoenix police. Police have identified the victim of a shooting death Friday morning in north Phoenix .

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Charles Porter, a 43-year-old man shot to death in the Loft Again bar in north Phoenix last Saturday, was an Iraq and Afghanistan veteran, a member of a motorcycle club, and a groom-to-be.

"He was just a real kindhearted guy. Just so easy to like. Everybody loved him," Rick Aragon, who said he was Porter's best friend, told The Arizona Republic.

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Aragon told a story of Porter's time in Iraq. Porter was a sergeant in Iraq when his vehicle ran over an improvised explosive device, killing most of the people in his platoon, Aragon said.

a man talking on a cell phone: Charles Porter (right) was shot and killed on Feb. 8, 2020, in Phoenix.© Courtesy of Rick Aragon Charles Porter (right) was shot and killed on Feb. 8, 2020, in Phoenix.

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Porter was badly wounded but that did not stop him from trying to save as many people as possible.

"He had some really bad injuries, but he still carried the men to safety as best he could," said Aragon. "Eventually over time, they had to medically discharge him.

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Phoenix police officers responded at 10:49 p.m. to an unknown trouble call near 2300 W. Heatherbrae Drive, near West Indian School Road. Police found a man dead near the side of the road. He had been shot , police said in a news release Saturday. Additional details, including information about a shooter

"He was just always that guy you knew would help you if you ever needed it. He was a very caring and gentle man with the biggest heart. Everybody that knew him will tell you that."

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Porter was also a member of the Lost Dutchman Motorcycle Club, a biker club mostly made up of veterans, of which Aragon was also a member.

"It’s a brotherhood just like when you’re in the military. I’m a veteran myself ... You had to count on the men and women that you work with to look out for each other and take care for each other because there are a lot of hazards in that line of work," said Aragon. "We do the same thing in the motorcycle club. We take care of each other. We just have a lot of love for each other and the love for riding a motorcycle."

Porter was two months away from getting married to his fiancee, Jessica Matyas. They were going to get married in Sedona.

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The couple have two children — Jessica's daughter from a previous relationship and their son, Ryan, said Aragon.

"Chuck was a very nurturing father. He was amazing. Gets up everyday and takes (Ryan) to school by himself. He’s always got his little son in his arms ... They were hugging all the time. It was really something special to see how special a relationship and how great of a father he was," said Aragon.

A GoFundMe for Porter's family has raised more than $8,000 as of Wednesday evening.

Porter got into an argument with 31-year-old Brandon Mitchell at the Loft Again bar near Cave Creek and Greenway roads in north Phoenix early Saturday morning.

Police detectives say that before the shooting, Mitchell was accused of assaulting an unidentified 50-year-old man in the bar, and Porter confronted Mitchell about the alleged assault.

Eventually, the argument escalated into violence and Mitchell shot Porter multiple times outside the bar, court documents say.

Porter was transported to a hospital but eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Aragon said Porter told firemen to "please tell my son I love him" while in the ambulance.

Mitchell was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and assault.

Republic reporter Chelsea Hofmann contributed to this article.

Reach the reporter Connor Van Ligten at Connor.VanLigten@arizonarepublic.com or on Twitter @Connor_VL.

This article originally appeared on The Republic | azcentral.com: Friend mourns veteran shot to death in north Phoenix bar

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