Go inside the Phoenix Fire Department 911 call center to learn about what’s going on when you call 911 in the Phoenix metro area. Hannah Gaber/

Corey Lynch had always been the perfect dad to his 10-year-old son.

Each day, he would show up at school an hour early to be the first person in the parent pick-up line. He was always eager to play video games with his boy or marvel at his collection of Pokémon cards.

His son’s mother, Jessica Onuma, never had to worry about whether Lynch, 38, would be there for them.

“He was the type of dad that inspired other men to be more involved, to be more loving,” she recalled. 

There was no reason to think anything was about to change when Onuma and their son said goodbye to Lynch on Oct. 18.

“I gave him a hug and he told us to be safe,” Onuma said, fighting back tears. “I said, ‘Of course,’ and told him I would see him soon.”

Police have few details to go on

Tempe police were called to Lynch’s apartment complex near Broadway and Hardy roads just a few hours later, at 8 p.m.

He was found shot in the parking lot. Lynch was unresponsive when first responders arrived. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

Beyond those details, police don’t know anything more about the shooter spurring Saturday’s plea from the family for the public’s help.

Family recalls their “Superman”

For Lynch, family always came first. It was easy for his sister, Billie Sartorius, to love him and his belly laugh, warm smile and easygoing personality. 

Lynch was always the first person she would call when she had a bad day. It would always be OK as long as her brother was around. 

“I just always knew that no matter what, he was always going to be there and we were going to have each other,” she said. “That’s what I miss the most.”

Her husband, Patrick, agreed. He and Lynch had grown close on many of their outdoor adventures. The whole family was usually involved in their camping or kayaking trips. 

“Corey was our Superman,” Patrick said of his brother-in-law. “He was infallible. He was the one person in my life I would never have thought I would have to go to a press conference to explain his death.”

A $5,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to an arrest.

“There is somebody out there that may have seen something or the actual event that left us all shattered,” Billie Sartorius said. “Somebody was stolen from us, and it’s been almost 10 months. We are just begging you to come forward with any information.”

Family members will be holding a vigil at Lynch’s apartment near Broadway and Hardy at 7 p.m. Tuesday. 

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Phoenix Police Department or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS. Tips can also be left anonymously at


What is a Silent Witness and how do you become one?


Read or Share this story: