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'He loved everything about life': Family of Camelback High teacher shot and killed in Phoenix pleading for answers

Phoenix police say that David Denogean, 30, was shot in the parking lot outside a restaurant near 12th Street and Maryland Avenue.

PHOENIX — A teacher and coach with the Phoenix Union High School District was shot and killed outside a restaurant in central Phoenix Friday evening.

Phoenix police responded to a report of a shooting around 6 p.m. in the area of 12th Street and Maryland Avenue.

When officers arrived on the scene they found 30-year-old David Denogean who had been shot in the parking lot of a local business. Denogean was rushed to a local hospital where he later died of his injuries.

According to David's family, he went for a walk with his dog.

Denogean was a guest teacher and coach at Camelback High School. According to Camelback High's website, Denogean was the boy's track coach.

David's father Frank Denogean says his son loved everything and everybody. Most importantly he loved teaching.

"He loved everything about life, music, art, sports, an athlete, former football player track," Frank said. "He was a teacher every day, and he loved his students, and he loved Camelback."

David's girlfriend Jordan Barajas knew something was wrong when his dog later returned without him.

"My dog was just standing there and the gate was open and she was without her harness and leash and I became immediately concerned," she said. "I saw there were lights flashing down the street and I started walking as fast as I could in that direction, started talking with police and found out he was the victim."

The Phoenix Union High School District expressed their condolences to his family in a statement to 12News on Saturday.

"The Phoenix Union and Camelback communities send our sincere condolences to the family of guest teacher and coach David Denogean. We will provide the support our staff and students need during this time of loss."

Police say the suspect fled the scene, and detectives are working to identify any and all people involved in the shooting.

The suspect, in this case, is being described as:

  • Unknown-aged white or Hispanic male 
  • Wearing dark clothing

The Phoenix Police Department believes several community members may have been in the area and witnessed the shooting.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Phoenix Police Department, or Silent Witness (480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO for Spanish Speakers).

"There's somebody out there that might know something and can contact silent witness, so we can find out who this person was, and bring them to justice," Frank said.

A vigil is planned for David on Sunday at 5 p.m. at the corner where the shooting took place, his family said.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help with medical and funeral expenses.

This is a developing story. Stay tuned to 12News for updates.

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Silent Witness:

Arizona's Silent Witness program allows people to send in tips and share information about crimes happening within their local communities.

The program shares unsolved felony case information in multiple ways, including TV, radio and social media.

Anyone who has information on a crime or recognizes a suspect described by the program is asked to call 480-948-6377, go to the program's website online or download the Silent Witness app to provide a tip. The identity of anyone who submits a tip is kept anonymous. 

Calls to Silent Witness are answered 24/7 by a live person and submitted tips are accepted at all times. Submitted tips are then sent to the detective(s) in charge of the specific case. 

Individuals who submit tips that lead to an arrest or indictment in the case can get a reward of up to $1,000.

Have a tip? Submit it on the Silent Witness tip form here. 

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