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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Grieving loved ones are appealing for the public’s help after a 23-year-old father is gunned down in Florida City early Wednesday morning.

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“He raised me when I was little. He meant a lot to me,” said Jonia Arrasola, whose brother Joseph Arrasola was shot and killed at N.W. 1st St. and N.W. 9th Ave. His body was discovered at 2:58 a.m. by some homes near Palm Drive.

Arrasola shed tears as she told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “He was my brother. He was so much part of our family. I was hoping it would not be him. I can’t believe this has happened. I know who did this to him.”

The victim’s sister believes that her brother met his killer at a convenience store on Palm Drive before his life was taken about a block away.

“He went to the store and never came back,” said Arrasola’s aunt, Nestura Amaro.

The manager of the convenience store told D’Oench that he told Miami-Dade police that the victim never made it inside his store and was probably nearby. He also believes the killer may have been in his store. He said Miami-Dade Police studied and retrieved his surveillance tape looking for leads.

Amaro said her nephew was “a happy boy all the time. He left behind 2 babies. They were just kids. He meant a lot to us. He always tried to be friends with everyone at all times.”

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Miami-Dade Police on Wednesday afternoon released a flyer asking for the public’s help in this case.

Arrasola’s grandmother, Oldemia Arrasola, said “He was always funny. He was my pride and joy. I don’t know what I am going to do without him. He was everything to me.”

The incident happened next to some homes. Neighbors said they were sleeping and did not hear any shots at all.

Amaro made a plea.

“If anyone knows anything please come forward,” she said. “Even if you don’t want to go to the police, come forward and tell someone. Everybody knows us in Homestead and it someone knows what happened to my nephew come to us. You know I won’t say who you are and who came forward to us. We just need to have some peace of mind.”

Miami-Dade Police say they do not have any suspect information to release and do not know the motive for the shooting.

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Anyone with information that can help should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS (8477). There is a reward of up to $3,000.