MIAMI – An Orthodox rabbi from New York was fatally shot as he walked to a Miami temple on Saturday in what appeared to be a robbery gone badly, police and Jewish community leaders said.
Miami-Dade police spokeswoman Elena Hernandez said there was no indication that the shooting of 60-year-old Joseph Raksin was a hate crime. Authorities have not released a motive, but the Anti-Defamation League said it had been in close contact with lead investigators and the crime appeared to be a robbery that went wrong.
Police are searching for two young suspects. One was apparently on a bicycle and the other on foot. The rabbi was shot just blocks from the temple.
“While the motivation for this crime is still being investigated, nothing can justify the killing of an innocent man walking to his place of worship to pray on his holy day,” Hava Holzhauer, the Anti-Defamation League Florida Regional Director, told the Miami Herald.
Yona Lunger, a local Jewish community activist and member of a neighborhood watch group the Shmira Patrol, told the newspaper that Raksin was from Brooklyn, New York, and was in Florida to visit relatives.