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Family wants rabbi's death considered hate crime

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The rabbi was walking to the synagogue when he was shot. (Source: WSVN/CNN) The rabbi was walking to the synagogue when he was shot. (Source: WSVN/CNN)

NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FL (WSMV/CNN) - The family of a rabbi shot and killed while walking to a South Florida synagogue demanded justice.

Police say 60-year-old Joseph Raksin of Brooklyn, NY, was visiting his daughter when he was killed Saturday morning.

Dozens of orthodox Jews in prayer surrounded the body of Raksin at a northeast Miami-Dade synagogue Saturday.

There was a moment of silence as a community in mourning walked behind the body on the way to his final resting place from the airport to his home.

Just a few blocks away from the temple, candles marked the area where Raksin was shot. 

Police said he was approached by two men. There was an altercation, and one of them pulled the trigger.

"The bullet just went from the side here all the way down, went out,” Shully Lepokovski, Raksin’s daughter, said. “Thing is, it went through, and it touched the heart."

Raksin's family says he was targeted for being Jewish.

"He was a very quiet person,” Menachem Katz, Raksin’s nephew said. “He would never ... If someone came and said, ‘Give me your money,’ he would say, ‘Take everything you want. Take my jacket. Check my pockets.’ He would never run. He wasn't that type of person."

While the community continued to mourn the loss of Raksin, police continue to search for the two suspects.

"I want every person watching now to know that it's their responsibility to help find the culprit, to help find the shooter or shooters," Katz said. "I want them to find them and investigate the crime as a hate crime, and I want them to take care of this place."

According to WSVN, police say the shooting does not appear to be a hate crime. No arrests have yet been made in the case.

Copyright 2014 WSVN via CNN. All rights reserved. 

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