The family of a Mesa man found stabbed to death outside an LA Fitness in Chandler has issued a plea for anyone who knows anything about the crime to come forward.
"We miss him every single day. I know we can never get him back. The reason for this is we don't want any other family to have to go through this kind of thing ever," said Ananth Krishnan, a close family friend who had known the victim for at least two decades.
Chandler police were called to the health club just before 11 a.m. on the morning of August 18th when some guys on their way to the gym saw a car that appeared to be parked awkwardly. When they looked in, they found a man slumped over in the vehicle and called 911.
Police say 84-year old Hosakote Shivaswamy had been stabbed multiple times and was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"With heavy hearts, the family members and friends are here today to tell you what a great person and human being Shivaswamy was. They are here to ask for the public's assistance with any information that will assist our investigations and find the person or persons responsible for his death," said Sgt. Daniel Mejia, a spokesman for the Chandler Police Department.
Krishna described his friend Shivaswamy as a kind and gentle soul who was always there for his friends.
"He was always willing to help us and because of his age, he would give us very sage advice," said Krishnan.
Shivaswamy, a retired engineer, who took good care of his health. Neighbors described him as an avid walker and would frequently see him around the neighborhood. He started going to LA Fitness more because of the heat. Police said Shivaswamy was a regular at the health club.
Last Thursday morning, an effort to stay fit and live long, tragically cut short. Chandler police had been interviewing witnesses, employees, and those at surrounding businesses in the strip mall. Officers have asked anyone in the area for surveillance video and put up flyers advertising at $1,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in this case.
"This loss has devastated us. Especially his wife of 50 years. We think of him every morning and think of what his last moments were like," said Krishnan. "I hope he didn't suffer too long at the end, but we don't know. We will find out."
Police were staying tight-lipped about further details of the investigation and said they had not established a motive for the crime yet.
"I know there are concerns from our community out there. This is a very tragic incident. We pride ourselves on being a safe city in Chandler, so when something like this happens it affects everybody," said Sgt. Mejia.
Friends said Shivaswamy would be remembered for his infectious laughter and kind spirit.
If you have any information that will help police solve this crime we urge you to call Chandler Police at (480) 782-4130 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. You can remain anonymous, and might be eligible for a $1,000 reward for helping solve this crime.