Family of man beaten to death outside Phoenix gas station speaks out

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Previous mugshot of victim Leon Armstrong.

PHOENIX, AZ  — The family of Leon Armstrong is speaking out after he was beaten to death outside a Phoenix gas station.

Phoenix police say Melvin Harris beat Leon Armstrong to death outside a QT near 19th and Dunlap avenues earlier this month.

Harris’s family says this happened after Armstrong tried to get into a bathroom stall that Harris’s daughter was using.

Armstrong’s family is just hoping for justice.

“We knew automatically that he was not going tin there to do anything to those young ladies,” said Kathilena Johnson, the victim’s aunt.

Police say Harris’s 16-year-old daughter was in the women’s restroom when she told her dad that Armstrong was in the women’s bathroom and tried to get into her stall.

After Harris and his daughter told staff at the QT what happened as they were leaving, they saw Armstrong. That’s when things escalated and Harris is accused of beating Armstrong, who later died at the hospital.

Armstrong’s aunt believes he was off his medication and might have been disoriented, which could explain why he tried to enter the women’s restroom.

Harris’s fiance is defending his actions, saying he feared what could have happened to his daughter had Armstrong gotten into that bathroom stall.

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