Police look for help after rabbi's murder

MIAMI, Florida (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Police held a news conference Monday morning regarding the murder of an Orthodox rabbi who was shot as he walked to temple Saturday morning. At the same time, police are also investigating symbols of hate which were found scrawled on an SUV owned by the wife of another South Florida rabbi, according to a Jewish community activist.

Rabbi Joseph Raksin, who was visiting family from New York, was shot to death Saturday morning while walking to a synagogue.

At the news conference Monday, Major Hector Llevat, head of the department's homicide bureau, said the department has a full homicide team working on the case along with a Northend street violence task force.

Major Llevat said there are some leads that they are following but would not release any details about those leads.

He wanted to stress that police need information from the community.

"The more information we get the better. It doesn't matter if you think it's insignificant, if you heard something, if you know somebody, any information that you have that could potentially connect the dots to bring these people to justice," said Llevat.

"We share in the community's urgency to find the perpetrators of this act. We that being said, we as a police department need additional information. We know there are those in the community that may be witnesses, that potentially heard something or know who committed this act. We need those individuals to come forward and contact the Miami-Dade Police Department with information they may have."

Tipsters can call the Homicide bureau at (305) 471-2400 or if they wish to remain anonymous, they can contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

Police said earlier that two young men are the subjects of the investigation, but they have not been identified. They were seen in the community and leaving the area of NE 175th Street near NE 8th Court following the shooting around 9 a.m.

Llevat said there is no clear motive at this point.

"It would appear initially, early observations that it could be perhaps a robbery. This gentleman was an observant religious man and so information is that he would not have a wallet or anything of value on him at that moment."

Many in the community question whether this should be considered a hate crime.

"Right now, there are no indications that it was a hate crime or related to a hate crime, however, we are not closing that door and we're not ruling anything out," said Llevat.

However, two symbols of hate were discovered scrawled on an SUV owned by the wife of a South Florida rabbi.


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