Rabbi Joseph Raksin: Hate crime unlikely in rabbi's death, police say

Police haven't ruled out the possibility

(WTVJ, NBC NEWS CHANNEL)-- Officials from the Miami-Dade Police Department held a news conference Monday regarding the rabbi who was gunned down Saturday.

Rabbi Joseph Raksin was murdered while walking to temple Saturday evening.

The rabbi is from Brooklyn, New York, but was in Miami visiting his two daughters and grandchildren.

Members of the community are upset after the police department did not call the murder a hate crime.

But officials say they haven't ruled out the possibility as they continue to investigate leads.

"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 Miami-Dade Homicide Detective Major Hector Llevat.

The police department's chaplain, rabbi P. A. Weberman, says the crime was so heinous, calling it a hate crime doesn't change that much. "Hate crime will elevate a crime from a lower degree to a higher degree. Nothing can elevate first-degree murder, if you call it a hate crime it still remains the same seriousness as if it were a not a hate crime.”

"We do have some leads that we're following - nothing that we're going to disclose at this point,” said Major Llevat. "We're aggressively following these leads, but we need information, and the more information we get, the better."