NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Hundreds of mourners gathered at a funeral procession in Brooklyn Monday for an Orthodox rabbi who was shot and killed as he walked to a Miami synagogue over the weekend.
A crowd surrounded the hearse on a blocked-off street as it pulled up outside the Chabad-Lubavitch headquarters, at 770 Eastern Pkwy. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, for the procession of Rabbi Joseph Raksin.
The 60-year-old rabbi was described as a peace-loving man.
PHOTOS: Rabbi Joseph Raksin Funeral
CBS 2’s Andrea Grymes spoke Monday with Raskin’s family and friends, who were still trying to make sense of his murder.
“I am experiencing a deep, tremendous feeling of sorrow; loss,” said Raskin’s brother-in-law, Isaac Neworth.
Neworth could not believe his brother was gone.
“We were very close,” Neworth said. “He was an amazing individual. He personified goodness, kindness, those ideals.”
Raksin was in Miami visiting relatives when police said he was confronted by two men and shot while walking to a synagogue on Saturday.
“My kids are hysterically crying,” Neworth said. “He was the uncle that always was the hugs; pat on the head; the one with the nice story.”
Rabbi Kalman Shor spoke to Raskin on Friday – just one day before the shooting.
“I’m in a fog. I’m literally in a fog until today,” Shor said. “It’s unbelievable that this thing happened.”
Meanwhile, a witness, Jean-Louis Denis, said he heard the gunshot in Miami and ran to help.
“I told him my name, I told him to stay quiet and that everything was going to be fine and unfortunately it was different,” said Denis.