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Family of sailor shot and killed seeks justice

Posted at 9:15 PM, May 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 00:15:04-04

An Arizona family is mourning after losing their son in a deadly shooting.

Navy sailor Phoenix Castanon, 19, was shot and killed after he confronted a stranger following his fiancé's friend on Sunday.

The incident happened in West Allis, Wisconsin where the sailor was visiting his fiancé.

"It was hard to accept, still is," said Tiata Nez-Dunklin, Castanon's stepmom.

"I couldn't believe I was receiving the phone call that I did," said Daniel Dunklin, his father.

Both his parents told ABC15 they were not surprised to learn that their son had tried to stop a man from harassing a friend.

"That's what he was raised to do," said Daniel. "That's what the military taught him to do so it didn't surprise me at all."

Tiata shared that same sentiment.

"That's who Phoenix was," she said.

Both Daniel and Tiata are veterans and said they were proud he joined the military. He also had brothers that served as well.

Castanon graduated basic training in 2021 and was training to become a gunner's mate.

Tiata said he had a bright future.

"He wanted to do 20 years and wanted to retire and then with that money he wanted to buy a ranch, he wanted to come home and be a cowboy," she said.

Authorities have not identified a suspect and no one as been arrested.

"And we just ask if you have any information, come out and help us," she said.

"Just help us bring justice for Phoenix," Tiata added.

Castanon's father called the shooter a coward and told ABC15 he hopes he ends up behind bars soon.

"I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison," Daniel said. "You're not supposed to wish ill will on anybody but I do."

The suspect is described as a Black male with shorter dreadlocks and is estimated to be between 5’7” and 5’11” tall.

Police have also released photos of the SUV involved they believe may be involved.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to please contact the West Allis Police Department at 414-302-8000.