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Man accused of murder after ‘violently’ running over another man, stomping on his head in Mesa

Arizona's Family logo Arizona's Family 8/14/2022 AZFamily Digital News Staff

MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- A man is facing murder charges after police say he used his car to run over to kill an acquaintance who said he could no longer park at his home. The Mesa Police Department said that John Lagana, 61, is accused of intentionally running that man near Main and 64th streets just after noontime on Friday.

Investigators say Lagana swerved out of the road on Alder while the victim, identified as Christopher Heimer, 63, was walking on the sidewalk along Alder Mesa before getting hit. At that point, Lagana reportedly kept driving on the sidewalk, damaging mailboxes and landscaping, before turning around to run over Heimer again. Witnesses told officers that Lagana ran over Heimer again even though he was lying on the ground. Police say that Lagana got out of his car and stomped on Heimer’s head “multiple times.” A witness then fired a shot into the ground to get Lagana to stop while police arrived to arrest him. Heimer was pronounced dead.

61-year-old John Lagana is facing one count of 1st degree murder. © Provided by KPHO Phoenix 61-year-old John Lagana is facing one count of 1st degree murder.

During an interview with detectives, Lagana said he knew Heimer and had been letting him park at his home because he was homeless. At some point, he learned that his ex-girlfriend was now living in Heim’s home. When detectives asked him what he was doing there, he said he was there to help “another friend” and had fallen asleep before hearing that his ex-girlfriend was yelling at home. Lagana stopped answering at that point and requested a lawyer. It’s still unclear what happened in the moments leading up to the incident.

Lagana is currently in the Maricopa County jail and booked on accusations of first-degree murder.

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