Mesa suspect booked for repeatedly running over, killing man, police say

Aug 13, 2022, 2:00 PM

(Mesa PD Mugshot)...

(Mesa PD Mugshot)

(Mesa PD Mugshot)

PHOENIX — A man was arrested and booked for a first-degree murder charge Friday after intentionally running over a resident multiple times in east Mesa, authorities said.

Mesa police responded to the area of 64th Street and Alder Avenue just after 12:30 p.m. Friday afternoon and took John Lagana, 61, into custody, according to a press release.

Upon listening to witnesses and reviewing surveillance video, police learned Lagana allegedly swerved out of the roadway and struck the victim, 63-year-old Christopher Heimer, with his vehicle.

Heimer was thrown into the landscaping of an apartment complex, and Lagana allegedly turned around and ran over Heimer again.

Lagana got out of his vehicle and stomped on Heimer’s head until a witness pulled out a firearm and shot a round into the ground, authorities said.

Under Miranda, the defendant said he knew Heimer, as the victim allowed him to park his vehicle at his home since Lagana lives out of his car, according to the probable cause statement.

Lagana said the victim no longer permitted the defendant to park at his residence approximately six months ago and that Lagana’s ex-girlfriend moved into Heimer’s home, according to the probable cause statement.

The defendant allegedly was in the area helping a friend when he fell asleep in his car and woke to his ex-girlfriend yelling. She told him Heimer kicked her out, and from there, the defendant requested a lawyer, according to the probable cause statement.

Witnesses allegedly told officers that Lagana honked his horn in front of Heimer’s residence until the victim came out on the sidewalk.

Lagana was booked into the Mesa Holding Facility.

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Mesa suspect booked for repeatedly running over, killing man, police say