‘He was the sweetest man’: Beloved Mesa shoe repair shop owner found killed inside store

Beloved Mesa shoe repair shop owner Jesus De La Rosa, known as Fabien, was murdered inside his store this week.
Published: Dec. 9, 2022 at 5:18 PM MST
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MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Beloved Mesa shoe repair shop owner Jesus De La Rosa, known here as Fabien, was murdered inside his store this week. His neighbors say he was gentle and kind, the last person who deserved this. “I just can’t imagine why anyone would ever hurt him. He’s the sweetest man,” said Angie Smith, who came to pick up her shoes today.

Mesa police say they found the 58-year-old dead inside Lamb’s Shoe Repair near Main and Central streets. Customers of Fabien are in shock over learning their favorite shop owner was found dead. “I was just planning on picking up my stuff before I went on a trip. I called several times, and I checked to see the schedule to see if he was going to be here, and it looked like they were open. So I just came up. I really didn’t expect to find this,” Smith said.

Smith says she came to Lamb’s Shoe Repair on Friday, not knowing anything was wrong. But, upon learning Fabien was murdered, she’s devastated. “Just so sweet and so nice. I just watched him relate with everyone that came into the store,” Smith said.

Smith describes him as funny and lovable, which is why she keeps returning. “I would bring him my red shoes and he would say, oh, well I don’t fix red shoes. Not the red shoes. He fixed a bag for me that I didn’t think was repairable. And he goes, well what did you think? Of course I can fix this,” Smith told Arizona’s Family.

The City of Mesa even recognized Fabien for his outstanding work in the community. “I haven’t heard one bad thing about him. He was the type of guy where you really didn’t have to kill him to get what he had. He would give you anything.” said John Schwary and his daughter Veronica Morgan.

Schwary and Morgan own TLC Treatment Center next door. They’ve known Fabien for years and say there needs to be justice. “I’m not a vengeful person but I hope that they catch this guy. Cause anybody who would kill someone like that would probably kill anybody,” he said.

Now Fabien’s shop neighbors are offering a reward of $1,000 for any information leading to an arrest. So if you know anything, call Mesa police at (480) 644-2211. You can also submit an anonymous tip here.