Father of Zacory Hooks speaks out after arrest made in son's death

"In just a couple of days, I’ve had to go from, 'OK I’m upset at the fact he has been hit by a car and killed.' And then you get a different story the next day or couple of days later that they've made an arrest and they come and tell you, 'Well no, that’s not exactly what happened but here is what happened," Edward Hooks said.

Posted: Sep 4, 2020 6:51 PM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- After nearly a month, the community is learning more about the death of 22-year-old Zacory Hooks, which led to an arrest in Florence this week. 

RELATED: SUSPECT CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER IN DEATH OF ZACORY HOOKS

"This is all basically over a stupid, stupid argument," father Edward Hooks said.

While he's relieved to see an arrest made, he said he's also shocked.

"In just a couple of days, I’ve had to go from, 'OK I’m upset at the fact he has been hit by a car and killed.' And then you get a different story the next day or couple of days later that they've made an arrest and they come and tell you, 'Well no, that’s not exactly what happened but here is what happened," Edward said.

What was thought to be a hit-and-run turned into a manslaughter charge.

Edward said Zacory went to a bonfire about a mile away where he got into an argument with 20-year-old Gage Duncan-Moor.
Zacory decided to leave but he didn't get far.

"He got a mile down the road and these three (people) decided to take it upon themselves to hunt my son down over a mile away, park their car, two of them got out. The 20-year-old knocked down my son in the road and left him there to get hit by vehicles who couldn’t see him lying in the road,” Edward said.

Duncan-Moor is facing charges of first-degree manslaughter and second-degree assault. However, Edward said he wants to see everyone held accountable.

He said two other people were with Duncan-Moor when the crime happened.

"If he had been in the car by himself, they wouldn’t be involved. They were in the car. You made a choice to get in the car, go with him and do what you did. You got out of the car, you went with him, you were right there on the spot when it happened, you are just as accountable as anyone else. You’re as accountable as Gage is period," Edward said.

Police said video evidence shows two men running away from where Zacory was lying, one of whom was allegedly Duncan-Moor. Plus, a third person was waiting in a parked car on 74th Street.

However, Moor is the only suspect in custody at this time. Police told KEZI 9 News the investigation is ongoing. 

"Why is it that these two get to walk away. Are they going to just walk away with nothing? Just a slap on the wrist like, oh, bad boy now," Edward Hooks said.

As for the two cars that hit and killed Zacory, both drivers remained on scene and cooperated with police. 

From the initial investigation to now, Edward's message to the community remains the same.

"Situational awareness. Keep your head on a swivel, pay attention to your surroundings at all times. 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 signaling to drivers to slow down. Cars are known to drive down Main Street fast and when you factor in the lack of light at nighttime, it makes for a pretty dangerous drive. He encourages everyone to wear bright clothing and take out at least one headphone when walking on streets. 

He also advised the public to make sure the people you're surrounding yourself with are true friends and people you can count on in any situation.

"I wish he was with them because he would still be with us here today,” Edward said. 

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