A valley cab driver and his passenger have been arrested in a case of road rage that left a man dead. It is a stunning case that unfolded Saturday evening in a store parking lot in Avondale.
The Triple A Taxi Company driver, 45-year-old Gary Mayo and his passenger, 47-year-old Shawn King, are both facing murder charges.
The victim's heartbroken family is now facing a life without a loving father and grandfather -- a man they call Papa Jim.
"He had so much life in him so much more many many years, it makes me so mad," says daughter Rhiannon Michlitsech between tears.
Jim Fournier's daughter says she is all cried out and their family is shattered -- not just over the loss of Papa Jim, but how he died.
He was brutally killed in a parking lot Saturday evening in front of his wife and grandchild.
"It's just senseless," says Rhiannon.
Avondale police say Fournier's wife, who was driving, honked the horn at the Triple A cab driver to warn him he was about to hit her car.
Both driver and passenger approached the Fournier car, yelling. Fournier apparently got out to say it wasn't nice to speak to his wife like that -- and witnesses say that's when he was attacked by Mayo and King, who continued to beat and kick him even after Fournier had fallen to the ground.
"What gives you the right to act like that just because they honked their horn and leave so much anger," says son-in-law Shawn Michlitsech.
Paramedics could not revive the 57-year-old. Mayo was booked on first-degree murder charges, and King was booked on second-degree homicide charges.
Rhiannon takes some comfort in their arrests, but nothing can repair the hole torn in their lives.
Fournier was a City of Peoria employee who loved to camp and barbecue. Memorial services are being planned for Saturday.
We called Triple A Taxi Company -- they did not call back.
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