Grieving father forgives son's killer - CBS 5 - KPHO

Grieving father forgives son's killer

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Andrew Murphy Andrew Murphy
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

A Valley family is mourning the loss of a young man who took on an armed robber to protect his sisters.

Andrew Murphy, 16, was shot and killed at a West Valley park Thursday night.

"I only wish that I could be half the man that my son displayed," said Dominic Murphy, the victim's father.

Murphy told CBS5 that he wasn't surprised that Andrew gave up his life to save his sisters.

"What I am extremely proud to say about my son is that he was God fearing," Murphy said. "He was not afraid to die."

According to Phoenix police, Andrew was hanging out at Marivue Park, off 55th Avenue and Osborn Road, with his 14 and 12-year-old sisters.

A gunman reportedly approached the 14-year-old and demanded money.

Seconds later, Andrew stepped in and was shot and killed, police said.

"I believe his whole life is the life that he lived," Murphy said. "But it's hard for us to grasp the fact a 16-year-old boy lived his whole life already."

Investigators said that a witness at the park ran after the gunman and was able to help police track him down.

The suspect is 18 years old and now faces murder charges, but his name and photo have not been released, police said.

Andrew's father said that he sat down with CBS5 Friday to let the world know what a big heart his son had, how he loved home-cooked meals, video games and music.

Murphy told CBS5 that their faith and religion have helped them cope with what's happened and they do not feel any hostility towards their son's killer.

"Our main goal now is to look this young man in the eye and forgive him and let him know that the same God that loved my son loves him too," Murphy said. "My son was a good kid. He meant no harm. He just wanted to protect my daughters."

A memorial fund has been set up to help the family with funeral expenses.

Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank branch under the Andrew Murphy Memorial Fund, account #9178395787.

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