JUPITER, Fla. — It’s been nearly a year since Christopher Maassen was shot and killed on I-95 in Jupiter and his family is still searching for answers.
Peaceful, spiritual, and loving are just a few words his relatives use to describe him.
"Just enjoyed life and however he could whether it was nature, you know, going fishing, going camping, or actually going on vacation in his 20s with his parents," said Mike Maassen, Christopher's father. "It's not that many kids in their 20's who are wanting to or willing to go on vacation with their parents, but he wanted to, and he asked if he could join us. And it was just fantastic. So that's kind of guy he was," he said.
The 29-year-old was on his way home to Stuart. According to investigators, while in Jupiter on I-95 near Donald Ross road, Maassen collided with another driver. Moments later, both of them pulled over. A fight broke out and ended with gunfire.
"Over the last year, there's not a day or minute that goes by that Christopher and or the situation is not on my mind," Maassen said.
"We know that two cars pulled off the side of the road. And within 90 seconds our son was dead."
The incident happened on February 19, 2021, almost a year later, deputies are still urging witnesses to come forward.
And while they work to piece together the case, Maassen's family is left broken.
"It breaks my heart," said Maureen Huber, Christopher's sister. "It's hard because it wasn't an act of God, someone took his life. And that person is still out there."
Stuart Kaplan, the attorney representing the other driver says his client acted in self-defense.
"I understand why the Sheriff would try to go out and try to develop new leads, but our position still is the same. That my client was within his legal right and justified to use deadly force," Kaplan said.
Maassen's family disagrees and says Christopher was unarmed at the time of the shooting. Despite not knowing all the facts, they are holding on to hope that witnesses will speak up.
"This is another call to please come forward. You may think it's nothing but contact the police tell them what you know. And let's get some more information if we can," said Maassen.
Anyone that may have witnessed the altercation is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 800-458-TIPS.