PHOENIX – 39-year-old Jaime Sapien and his wife Veronica had just left a birthday party for the son of one of Jaime’s co-workers. It was 3 a.m. on September 22, 2002, and Veronica was driving them home.
“When the victims approached 63rd Avenue and Campbell, they were at a stop and the suspects were walking, carrying weapons and yelling in Spanish,” Phoenix police detective Icela Brown said. “Jaime’s wife, who’s the driver of the vehicle, did not understand what they were saying, (she) doesn’t speak Spanish.”
So, Brown says she floored it to get away. That’s when the suspects opened fire.
The car was hit 3 times and one of those bullets found Jaime.
Veronica stopped about a half a block away and began frantically knocking on doors for help. Sadly, her husband didn’t make it.
“What we do know is that the victims did not know the suspects,” Brown said. “They didn’t have any interaction with them prior. They were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Jamie Vasquez, the oldest of Jaime and Veronica’s 4 children says her parents met as teenagers at Glendale Community College. She says her dad was a lot of fun.
“I thought his laugh was funny,” Jamie recalled. “And the way he danced, oh my God, whenever there was music he’d get down and start busting a move. He had some original dancing. No one could touch my dad.”
Jamie says her family still has lots of questions after more than 8 years of not knowing who killed her father.
“We’ve been struggling with this for a long time,” Jamie said.” We just want to know why, how come and what for. What was the purpose? What do you get out of taking a life? It was senseless and pointless and we really want to know who did this and why.”