Family, friends of man killed at casino speak

Posted at 8:09 PM, Dec 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-27 19:32:49-05

A man's family is having to make different arrangements this holiday season after their loved one was killed in a casino parking lot on Christmas Eve.

Frank Pascua was gunned down shortly before 9 p.m. just south of Ahwatukee, and his killer is still on the loose, Gila River police say. 

Pascua's sister, Angie Tart, says her family is just taking things day by day after learning of her brother's death.

"He was very memorable," she said. "He touched a lot of people's lives."

She says Pascua was the ultimate family man.

“Everyone loves their own kids but he loved his kids." 

Not only was he a great dad, but a loving fiancé.

“So in love,” Tart explains. “They had a really great relationship.”

He was also a supportive sibling.

“He was a very generous person, full of life," she said. 

She believes that the suspect who killed her brother may have been trying to hijack her brother's car the day before Christmas prior to fatally shooting him. 

In the car with Pascua were his fiancée and his brother. Angie says they saw what happened, and the former Bakersfield Police Department officer died in his fiancée's arms. 

Family members contacted ABC15 and ABC15's sister station in Bakersfield, CA, where Pascua retired from the police force, and shared a GoFundMe account they say has been set up by the man's fiancée, Brenda Hill. 

On the GoFundMe page, the following message was posted by Hill: 

"Frank Pascua Retired Bakersfield, CA. Police Officer and Marine was tragically killed on Christmas Eve.

This page is to help with expenses related to memorial services to be held in Bakersfield, CA mid-January for friends, family and fellow officers. As well as additional expenses incurred for transportation back to California.

Frank was an amazing person and would give the shirt off his back to someone if they needed it. Now Frank needs your help in securing a place and funds to properly honor our fallen officer.

We appreciate you keeping Frank and his family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."

Mark Rodriguez, former California neighbor of Pascua, went to the police academy with Pascua, a former Marine, in Bakersfield. 

"Frank was a good guy, very good," he said. 

The Bakersfield Police Department issued the following statement on the man's death:  

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to Frank's family as they deal with this senseless tragedy. We hope for a rapid resolve in the search for the suspect and are confident that authorities in Arizona will not give up until the suspect is brought to justice." 

Angie said her brother Frank and Hill had just purchased a winter home in the Valley last year with hopes of retiring soon.

Pascua leaves behind two children, ages 15 and 25.