COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Overcome with grief, Von Sherrod couldn't bear to speak about the senseless killing of her cousin, Bennie Pulley Junior, known as "Frank."
The 33-year-old father of 2 young children was shot five times in his torso and killed Sunday inside his Lanier Drive home.
Shell casings at the scene matched a 380 caliber handgun, and Columbus police are still searching for suspects.
Sherrod's friend Tarla Mobley says he saw Frank take his last breath.
"I was just yelling his name, Frank, don't give up, someone is here with you, you're not alone," said Mobley.
The coroner pronounced Frank dead about an hour and a half after neighbors say they heard gunshots and spotted two young boys running from the house.
Now detectives are combing the scene looking for clues as to who shot Frank 3 times. Mobley says it just doesn't make any sense.
"He didn't bother anybody. He didn't even come outside and if he did, it was to play with the kids."
Frank's death will the second funeral for his family in a month. We spoke to his uncle in Goldsboro, North Carolina. They say Frank came there in December for his cousin's funeral, the one he grew up with and was close in age with him. The family says Frank's murder and his cousin's homicide were a carbon copy.
The way Frank died is exactly how his 36-year-old cousin was killed in Frank's hometown near Raleigh. A suspect has been arrested in that North Carolina case. Frank's military buddy wants the same in this one.
"I hope they find them; I pray they find them," stated Raphael Jackson. Jackson and Frank met in 2000 at Fort Benning shortly before Frank decided to leave the Army.
His uncle Joseph Sherrod, of North Carolina, described Frank as a typical young man, very respectful and kept a low profile.
Neighbors in the Lanier area say he will be most remembered for playing with the neighborhood kids, teaching them lifelong lessons."He would let them rake the leaves in the yard to teach them the value of a dollar," explained Mobley.
Finding the killers will perhaps bring closure to the untimely death of a man who stayed to himself and loved children.