Wife of Circle K customer shot and killed in Phoenix wants answers

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Efren Hernandez, 24, was killed at a Circle K in Phoenix. (Source: Karolyne Hernandez) Efren Hernandez, 24, was killed at a Circle K in Phoenix. (Source: Karolyne Hernandez)
Karolyne Hernandez is overwhelmed, shocked and saddened by her husband's death. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Karolyne Hernandez is overwhelmed, shocked and saddened by her husband's death. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A young Phoenix mother is struggling to accept that her husband Efren Hernandez, 24, will never come home.

Hernandez worked for a local installation company. His boss told AZ Family he stopped by the Circle K on 19th Avenue and Buckeye Road Wednesday morning for a quick break and a soda.

However, he didn’t make it out alive.

Phoenix police shot the man accused of killing him.

Right now, the 52-year-old suspect is in the hospital recovering from his injuries and is expected to survive. His name has not been released.

On Friday, Phoenix police Sgt. Mercedes Fortune said “preliminary information indicates that the suspect displayed behaviors consistent with a mental crisis.”

Karolyne Hernandez is overwhelmed, shocked and saddened by her husband's death. She said they were texting that morning, but didn't mention anything was wrong.

"I was texting him when it happened. He just stopped replying, but I thought he was just working."

She doesn't think the suspect and Efren knew each other and wants more answers to why this happened.

Detectives are still investigating the motive.

The couple met in high school. They’ve been married since 2013 and have two young daughters together, ages 5 and 7. She described him as a loving father and hard worker.

“My girls will never have their father back,” she said. “He was my best friend."

“We were young when we got pregnant and he was always there and responsible," she said. "He worked a full time job while going to high school and exhausted himself and never complained.”

Right now, she's unemployed and doesn't know how she's going to give him a proper funeral.

Efren's boss created this YouCaring account to help raise money to help his family give him a proper burial.

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Maria HechanovaMaria’s last name is pronounced HETCH-UH-NO-VAH. She joined the 3TV/CBS 5 News team in July 2017, but is no stranger to Arizona.

Click to learn more about Maria.

Maria Hechanova

Prior to moving to Phoenix, she spent four years in Tucson reporting for KOLD News 13 and KMSB FOX 11 covering wildfires, VA transportation issues, and Southern Arizona's largest school district.

Before that, she worked for WLNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Lansing, Michigan where she learned a lot about the auto industry and almost never took off her parka.

Maria also reported in Yuma where she had the incredible opportunity to fly with the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and cover countless military homecomings.

She got her start at KPHO in 2008 as a college intern and is happy to be back and working with professionals who helped shape her career.

Shortly after college, Maria landed an internship with the TODAY Show in New York City thanks to the help of the Asian American Journalists Association.

She graduated from Northern Arizona University where she was also a member of the women's swimming and diving team.

Maria grew up in the Valley and went to Ironwood High School in Glendale.

When not reporting the news, she’s hunting for the best carne asada tacos or bowl of pho, swimming laps, or hanging out with her USMC veteran husband and rescued Shih Tzu.

In addition to Facebook and Twitter, you also can find Maria at @MariaHechanovaTV on Instagram.

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