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Woman recalls witnessing deadly shooting of Tempe fire captain

Posted at 5:53 PM, Feb 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-09 19:14:03-05

The friend of a Tempe fire captain who was shot and killed during a night out in Old Town Scottsdale is speaking out.

"We were literally having the best night," said Linsey Kornblau.

A night full of food, dancing and bowling with Tempe Fire Captain Kyle Brayer.

"We were having so much fun," Kornblau said. "He was spinning us all around and we were bowling and just talking about all that stuff."  

Kornblau had just met Brayer that weekend through mutual friends. She was visiting from Tennessee for the Phoenix Open.  

"We instantly hit it off," she said. 

It was at the corner of Civic Center Plaza and Stetson Drive that things would take a terrifying turn.  

She was sitting next to Brayer on a crowded golf cart as the group of friends were heading home to continue the party when 21-year-old Hezron Parks pulled up behind them in a red Scion Coup.  

She says Parks was blasting loud rap music from his car and she and Brayer were enjoying it.  

"It's stuff that we know, so we're like having a great time dancing to it and I guess that pissed the guy off?" she said. 

That's when she says Parks started "charging" at them and hit the back of the golf cart.  

"I put my legs up on that [rail] and then the guys put their feet out to try to stop the dang car from hitting us," Kornblau added.

She says Brayer and the other friend were telling the Parks to calm down. 

"The only reason they said anything to the guy was because he was charging at the car like, 'What are you doing? There are girls on here; we're not trying to cause trouble,'" she explained. "When they were telling him he needed to calm down, his entire torso was out of his window yelling back at us."

 She says that's when Brayer climbed off and approached the car.

"He jumps off the cart and walks around like he wasn't being aggressive about it in any way — he just wanted to make sure that the guy would stop doing it," she said. "Kyle had nothing in his arms, he was not armed, clearly he wasn't going to hurt the guy, and he had a loaded gun in his car? Yea, you felt threatened? OK."

Kornblau began screaming and so did the other people in the car as she watched Brayer drop to the ground.  

"It was the worst experience was more shock than anything. I've never cried that hard in my life," she said.  

She later helped identify the shooter to police and says Parks needs to pay for what hid did.

"No one in their right mind would do that...he deserves to pay for what he did and the fact that he's trying to change the script and portray it in a positive light; that he was defending himself. It's ridiculous," she said. 

Parks is facing 2nd-degree murder charges.

Captain Brayer will be laid to rest Friday at 10 a.m. at Scottsdale Bible Church.