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Son remembers Las Vegas homicide victim for his Aloha spirit

Thomas Martin had stopped at the 7-Eleven just across the street from his house to pick up a pizza with his girlfriend when he was fatally shot by a security guard during a fight, his son said.

Thomas Martin, 56, was shot Aug. 26 outside the 7-Eleven at 4395 Las Vegas Blvd. North just before 11 p.m. after he entered the store against the will of a security guard, who followed him in to remove him, leading to a shoving match.

The security guard, identified as 36-year-old Kegia Mitchell, was standing outside to control the number of people entering due to COVID-19 restrictions. Police said at the time she was allowing other customers into the store but for unknown reasons she wouldn’t allow Thomas Martin in so he pushed his way in.

As Martin, who police say was unarmed, exited the store while still shoving Mitchell, Mitchell fired one round, fatally shooting him in the chest, police said. She was arrested within hours on one count of open murder with a deadly weapon. She is under house arrest and will be in court again in January.

‘The happiest, most funny guy’

Brandon Martin, 33, said his father was the epitome of Aloha spirit and said his two uncles who still live in Oahu will always remember their oldest brother as the funniest in the family.

He said his father only moved from their hometown of Kailua to Las Vegas in 2014 to be closer to him, because he had moved to Las Vegas in 2005.

He added that he and his wife were making plans in August to travel from their new hometown of Kenosha, Wisconsin, back to Las Vegas to introduce Thomas Martin to his 2-month-old granddaughter, Kamaile Ana Kehaukena ‘Okalani.

“We were actually just about to try to come back from Wisconsin to try and find him so that he could finally know himself as a granddad,” Brandon Martin said.

Instead, he brought his wife and daughter back to Las Vegas to plan his father’s funeral and split things up with Martin’s girlfriend of 10 years, he said.

“This watch doesn’t even work but it’s his and I’m just trying to hold as much as I can from him and keep all his memories fresh,” Brandon Martin said, wearing his dad’s sunglasses, watch and T-shirt.

He said his dad always instilled the Aloha spirit in him and lived as a Hawaiian every day, even stopping for frequent meals at L&L Hawaiian BBQ.

“As Hawaiians we’re very humble, very loving,” he said. “He would just be the happiest, most funny guy I know.”

Attorney Rodolfo Gonzalez said the family hasn’t filed a lawsuit yet as they’re still in an exploratory phase.

“He didn’t deserve to get shot in cold blood,” Brandon Martin said, explaining that he still wasn’t sure exactly why his father was shot. “Thinking of him as homeless? Whatever she thought of him she didn’t have the right to do that.”

He recalled that his father’s hair was just starting to gray with age, and his son said his father would dye it black and excitedly say that he’d found the fountain of youth.

“Even after he dies he’s still going to be touching people with Aloha spirit,” Brandon Martin said. “In my mind he’s still here with us now laughing.”

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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