Friends, family of shooting victim left wondering why in Tucson

Friends, family of shooting victim left wondering why in Tucson
Friends and family are left wondering why he was gunned down. (Source: Damian Hyland)

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - This weekend, friends and family of 23-year-old Julian Holmes are left wondering why, as police continue to search for the person responsible for his death.

At about 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 7, officers responded to a shooting at an apartment complex on Craycroft Road near 29th Street. Police said Holmes was shot outside one of the units and knocked on a resident’s door for help. According to the Tucson Police Department, Holmes was alert and speaking with officers before he was taken to the hospital, where he later died.

Holmes died a day after his 23rd birthday. He leaves behind many loved ones, including a young daughter.

"It's very hard,” said Damian Hyland. "I'll never forget his smile because he would make you smile when you would see him."

Hyland said he met Holmes nearly 10 years ago at Saguaro High School. The two quickly became friends, and Hyland said they often referred to themselves as “Salt and Pepper”."He was part of the family, definitely."

Hyland and his family are trying to figure out how to move forward without Holmes.

“He wasn’t just a random person on the street. He was a good dad and a great friend, from what I can see,” Hyland said. “[His death] affected a lot of people. I would love to see [the person who shot him] caught; it should have never happened to Julian.”

Police have released little information about the circumstances surrounding the shooting. Hyland said family and friends are not only grieving, they are left with so many questions.

”[We] want to know what went bad, what went wrong," he said.

For now, all Hyland can do is hold on to memories.

"I’m going to miss him,” he said. “I hope to help Julian with his legacy and what he wanted to do in life.”

“Detectives are still actively working the case,” said Sgt. Pete Dugan, a spokesperson for the Tucson Police Department. “A lot of cases are solved — or helped solved — by pieces of information from the public. Often, the smallest pieces of information, that someone may think is insignificant, can be a rather large piece of information in conjunction with information that detectives already have. We are asking anyone with ANY information to please call 88-CRIME.”

In the meantime, a celebration of life is being planned for Holmes.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.