A former yo-yo champion from right here in the valley was murdered on Christmas night. Police say he crashed his SUV into a tree after being shot.
Right now, police don't think this was a random shooting. They believe Nathan DeWitt got into some sort of confrontation and was shot -- then tried to drive himself home.
YouTube video shows Nathan DeWitt showing off his yo-yo skills. Seven years ago, he won a Yo-Yo Regional Championship.
"He was an interesting guy, he always meant well," says friend John Huber.
John Huber was shocked to hear his buddy is dead. Police say someone shot DeWitt on Christmas. DeWitt then tried to drive away and crashed into a tree near 28th Street and Union Hills. He crawled out of the vehicle, was taken to the hospital, and later died.
"He had a really unique style, one thing you'd say he could be known for is he did a lot of tricks with his ears. Not a lot of people do that."
DeWitt used to work for Hans Van Dan Elzen, the owner of Yo-Yo Factory. He says DeWitt quit selling yo-yo's a year ago to go after other opportunities.
"I can't even imagine, it's just such a sad story especially on Christmas. I don't understand, I don't understand this at all," he says. "Definitely anybody that met him would have sensed that ambition and that self-belief, been inspired."
Right now, police don't know where DeWitt was when he was shot. They say he may have been at a party. His friends can't understand why someone would want to hurt him.
DeWitt was 23-years-old. Police say it's still unclear if DeWitt died from the shooting wound, injuries from the crash or both.
Anyone with information on this case should call Phoenix Police.