NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The family of a bright young man, whose life was cut short by a stray bullet, is calling for justice.

Matt Shaw should be heading to grad school. Instead, his family is planning his funeral.

At a prayer circle outside the family’s home on Friday night Shaw’s sister, Princess, told CBS 2’s Dave Carlin the 21-year-old recent college graduate was the pride and joy of the family.

“He was very special, very loved,” she said.

Shaw graduated from Le Moyne College in Syracuse, where he earned a degree in finance. The achievement was celebrated during a Fourth of July family reunion.

“He was going back to school, back to school for two more years to get his masters,” said friend Denzel Fell.

Tragedy struck Thursday night. Shaw bought a soda at a deli on East 128th Street between Park and Lexington and then walked up the block talking with friends when a stray bullet pierced his abdomen. He died before the ambulance got him to Harlem Hospital and the shooter got away, CBS 2’s Carlin reported.

Devastated family and friends said the loss is profound and shared by everyone in the community.

Shaw loved sports and his chosen field of economics. He was a role model and a reminder of hard work rewarded, but all that was stolen from the people who need him by senseless gun violence.

“We want more that justice. It’s easy to just find whoever did this to Matt, but the sad part is it’s going to continue whether you find him or not — it’s going to continue,” Princess Shaw said.

Shaw’s family and community are praying that the killer will be found and taken off the streets.

Le Moyne College plans to hold a memorial mass for Shaw at a date to be determined.

Watch & Listen LIVE