By Gary Nelson

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PEMBROKE PINES (CBSMiami) – Friends and family gathered to remember and grieve Saturday night in a Pembroke Pines park for 21-year-old Zachary Finch.

Finch, who grew up in the area, was a great student and stand out baseball player who went off to college in Kentucky on a full scholarship.

“He was a good friend, a good brother, a good son. The kid was one of the best kids in the world,” Zachary’s brother Nick said.

But Zachary Finch’s remarkable life ended on Father’s Day. While visiting family in Charlotte, North Carolina, Zack was robbed and shot dead in a park after making arrangements online to meet a person and buy an upgraded iPhone.

“We were best friends for the last seven years and he will always be in my heart,” said Dylan Thomas, Finch’s former high school teammate.  “He meant the world to me, my best friend and brother.”

Finch was shot in the back as he ran from the robber or robbers. Police say there is a cautionary tale in this about meeting with strangers you find on line.

“Where should that encounter happen? It should be in a place where you both feel comfortable,” said Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Sgt. Susan Manasah.

In Zachary’s hometown Saturday night there was unspeakable sorrow as hundreds gathered in grief, holding candles, singing Amazing Grace.

“This isn’t supposed to happen, it’s just not, and we just pray that someone comes forward and gives some information so they can have some peace,” said longtime family friend Michelle Difede.

A Go Fund me page has been established to help Zachary’s family, and there is a $5,000 reward offered for information leading to the arrest of his killer or killers.


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