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A Valley mom is still searching for answers after her son’s death

Phoenix Police say the man was killed after leaving a convenience store near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road.

PHOENIX — A Valley mother is left with questions after her 23-year-old son was killed in what police say appeared to be a random attack.

Phoenix police said De’Kari Hamilton was stabbed to death outside of a convenient store near 27th Avenue and Indian School Road.

“I couldn’t even tell you. I was just lost,” Shlisa Miles, Hamilton’s mother, said. “Just still numb, just angry, sad, frustrated, just confused, everything.”

Miles said her son went to the store to get snacks around midnight last Saturday.

Court records obtained by 12News reveal surveillance video shows Hamilton coming out of the store and having a brief conversation with a man identified by police as 37-year-old Robert Downs.

As Hamilton turned to leave, Downs allegedly stabbed him from behind, and continued to stab him several more times after he fell to the ground. 

Police said Hamilton died while trying to run away. 

“My son never even seen it coming,” Miles said. “I hope that he didn’t feel no pain.”

Police said they arrested Downs at the scene. He was armed with a knife.

Court records reveal Downs allegedly admitted to the stabbing, telling investigators he acted in self defense. 

Police said surveillance video did not show any aggressive actions by Hamilton that supported Downs’ claims.

Hamilton’s family said this attack has turned their lives upside down.

“I guess I was in disbelief at first, something you don’t want to believe,” Felix Morris, Hamilton’s brother, said.

Hamilton is remembered for his kind heart and love for his family.

“Full of smiles, full of laughter, curiosity, loved you know and will be missed,” Morris said.

Morris said his brother’s death serves as a reminder that life is too short.

“There’s a chance that not everybody is going to make it home,” Morris said. “So, just make sure everyone just tells your people you love them before you go.”

A GoFundMe page was created to help Hamilton’s family pay for memorial services. Anyone who wishes to donate can click here.

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