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Police: NYC rabbi killed during Fla. vacation in robbery gone wrong

Daughter of rabbi fears he was killed in Miami "simply because he was a Jew."
By Frances Burns   |   Aug. 11, 2014 at 3:16 PM  |  Updated Aug. 11, 2014 at 3:20 PM   |   Comments

MIAMI, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Investigators have found nothing to suggest the killing of a New York City rabbi on vacation in the Miami area was a hate crime, police said Monday.

At a news conference, Maj. Hector Llevat said Joseph Raksin appears to have been the victim of a robbery gone wrong. Llevat said two young men were spotted leaving the scene Saturday morning.

But Llevat said the possibility the shooting was anti-Semitic has not been completely ruled out. Raksin, a member of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect, was shot as he walked to a Saturday morning service at Bais Menachem Chabad.

Hundreds of people gathered Monday at Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic headquarters in Brooklyn for Raksin's funeral.

"His wife, children, family are all still in shock," a childhood friend, Rabbi Shea Hecht, told the New York Daily News. "We can't get over it."

Raksin had six children. He was in Florida to visit two of his daughters and his grandchildren.

Hecht said many in the community do not believe the shooting was a robbery and "want to get all the facts." Shuly Labkowsi of Miami said she fears her father died "simply because he was a Jew."

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