PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - "He had a very good future in front of him."
For 21-year-old Marcus Dickson, skateboarding was everything. "Skateboarding was his passion," said his sister Tina Adams. "He had been skateboarding most of his life."
But it was a life cut short. On March 21, 2009, Dickson was shot in the head. His killer has never been found.
Police say the shooting happened in a neighborhood near 69th and Lewis avenues in Phoenix 12 years ago this month. A car drove up to Dickson and two men got out. Police say one of the men started talking to Dickson, and the other shot him. The suspects then got back in the car and took off. The vehicle was described only as a dark-colored, 4-door vehicle.
Dickson's sister said he had been on his way to Desert West Park to practice for an upcoming skateboarding competition when he was shot. "It was one of the biggest competitions he would have done," says Adams. "He was excited to be in this competition. He felt like he would have won."
Dickson started skateboarding at age 6, and by age 21 had made a name for himself in the Phoenix skateboarding community. Laura Martin of Cowtown Skateboards remembers meeting Dickson when he was about 7 or 8 years old. "He helped us sell burgers and hot dogs for the skatepark," Martin said. "He was full of energy and smiles and there helping us out with whatever he could do. He would even do back flips!"
"Once we opened up the park, he was there night and day, every day," Martin remembers. "That was a home away from home for him. He skated in contests and did well. He and his brother were pioneers of the park."
Police have continued to investigate the shooting, but no arrests have ever been made. Since there was no physical confrontation, there was no DNA evidence to gather. Eventually, all leads were exhausted, and police said the case went "cold." Now detectives can only hope someone will come forward with information about the crime.
Four suspects remain at large. The shooter in the car is described as a Hispanic male, 16-22 years old. Police say a light-skinned Hispanic or white female with blonde highlights was driving the car. A Hispanic male was sitting in the front passenger seat. The last suspect is described as a Hispanic male, 16-22 years old, wearing a white t-shirt with black pants.
Dickson left behind a daughter. She is now a teenager. "His daughter, she looks just like him, so we see him all over again," said his sister. "That's what keeps us going."
"His smile and those sparkly eyes… brings tears to my eyes now," says Martin. "He was skating home from the park when he was murdered. I never knew why. A sad loss for the community and our skate community. He was a good one. I miss him."
Cowtown Skateboards keeps Dickson's memory alive on their blog. A tribute to the young man reads:
He was a contributing factor in raising money for d west. (Desert West) Always smiling. Always there helping. Always there skating after it was built. Skateboarders from all over the country knew who lil Marcus was. Our hearts go out to his family and friends. You will be missed. You are now legend status.
Silent Witness is still seeking information about his case and is offering a reward of $1,000 for information leading to an arrest. If you know anything about this incident, please call Silent Witness at WITNESS, or 480-948-6377. And remember, you can remain anonymous.