SPRINGFIELD, Ore. – After nearly a month, the community learns about the death of 22-year-old Zacory Hooks, which resulted in an arrest in Florence this week.
“This is all basically a stupid, stupid argument,” said Father Edward Hooks.
While he is relieved to see an arrest, he said he was also shocked.
“In just a few days, I had to say, ‘OK, I’m upset that he was hit by a car and killed.’ And then the next day or a few days later you get another story that they were arrested and they come and tell you, “Well, no, that’s not exactly what happened, but here is what happened “said Edward.
What was considered a hit-and-run turned into homicide.
Edward said Zacory went to a campfire about a mile away, where he had an argument with 20-year-old Gage Duncan-Moor.
Zacory decided to go, but he didn’t get far.
“He came a mile down the street and these three (people) decided to take it upon themselves, chase my son over a mile away, park their car, two of them got out. The 20 year old knocked my son down on the street and left him there to be hit by vehicles that couldn’t see him lying on the street, ”Edward said.
Duncan-Moor is charged with first degree manslaughter and second degree assault. However, Edward said he would like everyone to be held accountable.
He said two other people were with Duncan-Moor when the crime occurred.
“If he had been in the car alone, you wouldn’t be involved. You were in the car. You made up your mind to get in the car, walk with him and do what you did. You got out of the car, You went with him, you were right there when it happened, you are just as accountable as anyone. You are just as accountable as Gage, “Edward said.
Police said video evidence shows two men running away from Zacory, one of whom was allegedly Duncan-Moor. There was also a third person waiting in a parked car on 74th Street.
However, Moor is the only suspect currently in custody. The police told KEZI 9 News that the investigation is still ongoing.
“Why can these two go away? Are they just going to go away with nothing? Just a slap on the wrist like, oh, bad boy now,” said Edward Hooks.
On the two cars that hit and killed Zacory, both drivers stayed on site and worked with the police.
From the initial investigation until now, Edward’s message to the church remains the same.
“Situation awareness. Keep your head on a spin, always pay attention to your surroundings. It doesn’t matter where you are,” he said.
Edward said he was standing next to his son’s memorial on Main Street on Thursday and signaling drivers to slow down. Cars are known to travel fast along Main Street. When you factor in the lack of light at night, this is a pretty dangerous ride. He encourages everyone to wear light-colored clothing and to take out at least one set of headphones when walking on the street.
He also advised the public to make sure that the people you surround yourself with are true friends and can be relied on in any situation.
“I wish he was with you because he would still be with us today,” said Edward.