Grown men, who look tough on the outside, cried as they stood on the blood stained concrete near where their friend Jeff Bennett III, was found shot to death. A gun was found near his body, but exactly how the 29-year-old died is still under investigation as a possible homicide.
"Just a real good person all the way around," Joshua Dipprey said. "He had his faults like everybody, but nothing to deserve this. Nothing."
Dipprey was Bennett's older brother, but their relationship was more like father and son.
"It's going to be very hard, very hard," Dipprey said. "I'm not going to live a day without thinking about him."
Tiffany Woods considered Bennett her brother. Her sister and Bennett were together for 10 years and had four children together.
"I miss him very much," Woods said with tears rolling down her face. "I'd really like to say whoever done this is a coward. They did not have to take his life like this."
Woods' sister died several months ago. Now, the couple's four children will grow up without parents.
All his family and friends could do to find comfort in this tragedy is pray. Everyone held hands as Bennett's friend Gary Young lead the prayer, "Comfort the family, Lord, comfort the friends through this."
Five-year-old Alyssa Woods, who Bennett called his angel, is also turning to prayer to cope with her loss.
"We love Uncle Jeff and he is watching us and all the time we pray for him," Alyssa Woods said with a smile, "And we love him with all our hearts. And amen."
Friends all said Bennett was like a brother to them.
"I'm going to miss everything about him. It hurts," Daniel Alexander said.
Jacob Cramack said, "I miss him dearly. Even though it's only been two days, I've been crying, ain't slept."
With faith, memories and support from one another, Bennett's family and friends know they can get through this.
"We all love you and miss you. We will see you in the afterlife man," Dipprey said.
At this time no arrests have been made in Bennett's death. If you have any information that could help investigators solve this case, you're asked to give Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers a call at 1-877-787-5898. Your tips can remain anonymous.
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