Friends cry out for justice after Tucson man beaten to death in mall parking lot

East side man beaten to death, friends cry out for justice
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:39 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 4, 2022 at 11:23 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Tucson Police Department needs help to find the suspects involved in a brutal murder on Tucson’s eastside in late June.

Christopher Hart, 37, was found in a parking lot near 22nd Street and Kolb Road on June 22. Police said the men responsible have not been found.

Those closest to Hart are pleading for justice.

(Tucson Police Department)

“He means everything to me. He was my family,” said friend Jesse Vanleuven.

Hart’s friends said he was full of life. He had a heart of gold, gave the best hugs and always put a smile on your face.

“He had jokes for days. He got the name “Crazy Chris” for a reason,” Vanleuven said.

He had other names like dad, son, brother, uncle and best friend.

But now these friends, who are more like family, are crying out for justice.

“He was a good person, a really good person. He didn’t deserve to die,” said friend Bianca Wade.

Hart was beaten in the Eastpointe Market Place parking lot and died at a local hospital.

According to police, Hart got into an argument with a group of men. A short time later, more men arrived and began assaulting him.

“It was so hard to see him lying on that bed like that,” Vanleuven said. “Someone that has known him his whole life and then to see that, it was tough. He means the world to me.”

“I just miss him in general,” said friend Malainie Arratia. “I miss him being there. I miss him coming over and maybe we can go hang out and do something.”

Authorities said they believe two vehicles were involved. A black early 2000s BMW and a 2005-2008 Kia, possibly an Optima. Photos of the vehicles is below.

(Tucson Police Department)

“The truth is these people did this to him, and they need to be brought to justice,” Vanleuven said.

Anyone with information is asked to call 88-CRIME. A reward is being offered for any information leading to arrests.

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