Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- City police are searching for three suspects involved in the killing of a 65-year-old Southside man in front of his young son.
Police still won’t say how the man died, but they believe his attackers were trying to rob him.
In the middle of the night, in a back apartment on West Kennedy Street, a 7-year old boy watched a nightmare unfold as his father was attacked. Despite their separation, the boy's mother describes 65-year-old Jerry Mack as a kind and modest man.
“I just don't understand how three or four civilians can actually rob an older man and leave there, with his senseless body right there and do that in front of his son,” said the boy’s mother.
Neighbors, surrounded by crime tape, ache for the little kid next door, who ran away, alone in the dark until police say a passerby took him to get help.
“It's not something you even want to think about quite frankly, you know, having to defend yourself or even worse, those moments of worry about what would happen to your child while in the midst of that kind of circumstance,” said neighbor and Common Councilor Khalid Bey.
Ann McGloun remembers her neighbors as part of the family. Jerry often helped with chores while the kids played in the backyard.
"Gerald was more important to me than anyone, because of his hospitality. He was here everyday for me,” said Mack’s neighbor Ann McGloun.
While McGloun tries to explain to her grandson why his friend couldn't come back to play Friday afternoon, there is hope that police will find answers soon.
"I love my baby's father so much. I just want somebody to come forward and at least tell what happened to my baby's father because he didn't deserve this,” said the boy’s mom -- a plea on behalf of a child who became a possible witness to murder at the age of seven.