NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Police in New Jersey are searching for the killer of a young man gunned down in the driveway of a friend’s house on Wednesday night.

Nine candles marked the driveway in Jersey City, where 23-year-old Raymond Rivera was shot and killed. Police are still trying to determine the motive for the shooting, and have interviewed several witnesses.

As friends and relatives comforted his grief-stricken family, his girlfriend struggled to find the words to describe the one she has lost.

“He was always there for everybody. I don’t know what else to say, he’s just a caring person. I don’t know, i just. I don’t know,” Yosmery Brito told CBS 2’s Mark Morgan.

Rivera graduated from Bayonne High School in 2006, playing catcher on the baseball team for all 4 years. He also served as co-captain in his senior year.

And even several years removed from the diamond, Rivera remained close to his old coach, who says he has lost more than just a former player.

“Somebody that you would want for your son. I have a son and it’s almost like I lost one today. He was a good boy,” Bayonne High School baseball coach Phil Baccarella said.

Greg Bliech, now a coach at the high school, played baseball with Rivera and said he was one of his closest friends. Rivera even came to Bliech’s birthday party less than a month ago.

“If you needed a favor, you could depend on Ray. He always put everybody in front. He’s not a selfish guy. I mean, he was a great kid,” Bliech said.

Rivera loved the New York Mets and a candle and miniature team helmet are displayed in the auto shop where he worked.

“Just a good guy to work with. We’re the same age group, we clicked and it sucks to see something like this happen to a guy you get close with and one second, he’s gone,” Chris Herrero, who worked with Rivera, said.

According to his friends, Rivera, the youngest of 4 brothers, was well-liked and would never have hurt anyone. That, for them, makes the tragedy that much harder to understand.

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