Police are seeking the public's help in finding out who shot and killed 23-year-old Nathan Dewitt just before midnight on Christmas Day.
The 1997 Ford Explorer driven by Dewitt, a national yo-yo champion, crashed into a tree off 28th Street, just south of Union Hills Drive, and rolled onto its side.
Dewitt crawled from the wreck and told a witness he'd been shot, police say. The victim was taken to a local hospital and later died of his injuries.
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Authorities don't know what happened. It's "possible that he was at a party sometime before the collision occurred," says Phoenix Sergeant Tommy Thompson in a news release.
Anyone with knowledge of the shooting is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department Violent Crimes Bureau at 602-262-6141 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS or 480-TESTIGO.
UPDATE: After we published this article, we learned Dewitt was a national yo-yo champion. Here's an excerpt from write-up about him yesterday on www.yoyoexpert.com:
For those of you who have never heard of him, Nathan was a fellow yo-yo player originally from Washington State, who later relocated to the Phoenix area. He was also the very first winner of the 1A Division at the inaugural Pacific Northwest Yo-Yo Championships in 2005.
I never had the opportunity to hang out with him outside of a contest setting. But whenever we did interact with one another, he was always friendly and very passionate about throwing yo-yos. It makes it very hard for me to wrap my brain around the circumstances of his death. I don't see him as the type of person who could anger someone to the point that they would want to take his life.