PHOENIX — An Army veteran, Purple Heart recipient and loving father was tragically murdered when he was shot outside a Phoenix bar early Saturday morning.
The shooting happened outside the Loft Again bar near Cave Creek and Greenway roads around 12:45 a.m. Saturday.
Police say 43-year-old Charles Porter confronted the shooting suspect, Brandon Mitchell, after he attacked somebody he knew inside. Investigators say Mitchell then pulled out a gun and fired multiple times.
To his family and motorcycle "brothers," Charles Porter was “Chucky, little Chucky.” In reality, Porter was everything but little. He was barrel-chested with big arms and a wide, inviting grin.
“He would protect people. He looked out for people,” said Omer Marion, a close friend and fellow Lost Dutchman motorcycle group member. “He didn’t like people bullying people.”
Porter protected people in his home state of Arizona and overseas.
“He served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he got blown up over there,” said Marion.
“He was a Purple Heart recipient. It's just sad that someone could fight in a war, and come home and lose their life like that,” said Rick Aragon, Porter’s best friend, and fellow veteran.
Porter was shot multiple times. Paramedics rushed him to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery and friends say he battled to stay alive.
“He fought for 14 hours and we thought that he would make it because he survived death at least twice that I knew about,” said Aragon, referencing an IED and a motorcycle wreck.
Porter was a loving fiancé and father. He was set to be married in Sedona in April and had a four-year-old boy. “He was a hero to his son,” said Marion.
Porter, still conscious in the ambulance, “told the firefighter medic, 'tell my son Ryan I love him.' His last words were that.”
The Army Sergeant will soon be buried in a flag-covered casket and his loved ones are grieving, having lost a friend, father, and protector.
“He was a big teddy bear. He was a loving, loving father and a loving son,” said Marion. A GoFundMe account has been set up to help Porter's family. You can donate here.
Authorities say Mitchell is being charged with second-degree murder.