Veronica Rovie holds a poster with photos of her late brother, Xavier, on January 11, 2020. (Photo: BrieAnna J. Frank / The Republic)
Katrina Butler wore sunglasses, but her tears on Saturday afternoon often slipped beneath the hawksbill frames.
Butler and more than a dozen friends and family of Xavier Rovie did a car wash at a tire store to raise money for the funeral after he was shot dead by police in downtown Phoenix on Monday.
Authorities said Rovie, 28, fought with the officers and finally shot one, which caused the officers to respond.
Butler, Rovie's girlfriend, had been with him for just over a year.
"It's heartbreaking," he said. "It's a bite of sadness, waking up, going to sleep, just to spend the day."
She said that her boyfriend was a "great person" who showed integrity towards her and her son, sometimes by bike to the grocery store to make sure they had food to eat and often paid for it from their own pocket.
"My son does not have a father and the man who was for me and my son, we have never had that," he said.
Butler, along with several other family members who showed up for the fundraiser, said they would only believe the Phoenix police description of what happened after seeing body camera images and other evidence.
"We need answers, we need a closure," he said. "They're not giving us any information, anything we can use to cry it the right way."
"That is fair to any human being who is going through this kind of situation, it is correct. For us we will not be given any kind of response, no hope, it is not fair."
& # 39; The worst experience of my life & # 39;
Car washes to raise money for Xavier Rovie's family took place on Saturday, January 11, 2020. (Photo: BrieAnna J. Frank / The Republic)
Rovie's older sister, Veronica, who was also in the car wash at the Llantera Mil Amores tire store on Seventh and South avenues, said the family has so far not been allowed to see her brother's body.
The Phoenix police spokeswoman, Sgt. Maggie Cox said Saturday afternoon that she could not confirm the family account or provide additional details about the incident.
Veronica Rovie also suffocated by talking about her brother in the past tense, remembering the "close" relationship they had over the years.
"It's the worst experience of my life," he told The Arizona Republic, about how it was the last week for her. "I would never think that this would happen to us."
Veronica Rovie said her brother had a history with the Arizona Department of Corrections, but said he "didn't make him a bad person."
Xavier Rovie's record dates back to 2009 and shows convictions for robbery and assault, fleeing police in a stolen car and aggravated assault.
Veronica Rovie said the family has seen some negative comments about her brother and his alleged actions before his death, which led them to stay away from social networks.
"We all ignore all those bad comments they say about him because they don't know who he was, they never grew up with him, they don't know him," he said. "For them, he is just another boy on the street."
Police: Rovie was breaking the law, shooting officer
The incident began when two Phoenix policemen tried to stop Xavier Rovie, who was on a bicycle, because he was violating traffic regulations, Cox said. Police have not said what traffic regulations were being violated.
Xavier Rovie could not stop and escaped. That started a chase that led to a fight, at which point Xavier Rovie pulled a gun, Cox said.
He shot "at least one round" at the officer, who was shot in the chest but was not injured because his vest and radio stopped the bullet.
Officers responded to the fire and beat Xavier Rovie, who was pronounced dead in a hospital.
It was the first shooting of the Arizona police in 2020.
Journalist Perry Vandell contributed to this report.
Reach the reporter at [email protected] or 602-444-8529. Follow her on Twitter @brieannafrank.
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