SANFORD, Fla. - The family of a 28-year-old man shot to death in Sanford came together Friday night to hold a vigil in his honor.
Toby Martin was killed Thursday evening in what was Sanford's fifth shooting this week, the Sanford Police Department said.
The shooting was reported at about 7:30 p.m. at a home on Willow Avenue near East 7th Street, police spokeswoman Bianca Gillett said.
It was an emotional gathering Friday at a Sanford park on East 7th Street.
"My baby gone. My baby is gone," Martin's mother Cecily Martin said. "It feels like a dream, because I'm so used to coming here and seeing him and his smile and his hugs and his kisses."
Toby Martin was fatally shot in the backyard of his home, Gillett said.
"Witnesses reported hearing a vehicle leave the area of the shooting shortly after gunshots were heard," she said. "Investigators believe there were multiple witnesses in the backyard at the time of the shooting."
None of the witnesses have spoken to detectives about the shooting, Gillett said.
Resident Zena Williams, who knew Martin, described him as a nice young man who didn't deserve to be killed.
"These young people in Sanford, they need to be stopped. People are tired of it," Williams said. "I wish I was a witness, because I would turn them in to the authorities."
Maria Bryant, Martin's cousin, told Channel 9 that this is the second time in six months that she has lost a relative to gun violence.
Bryant said someone fatally shot her son earlier this year while trying to rob him after his car broke down.
"It's got to stop. This is crazy," she said. "They didn't care. They didn't care about nobody's life."
Bryant said she hopes someone will come forward with information about her cousin's murder.
"I thank God for everybody who came forth for my son and told the truth," she said. "I thank God for that every single day."
Martin's mother had a message for anyone with information on the shooting who wasn't coming forward.
"They think they're being unified," she said. "'I'm not going to say nothing because I don't want nobody else to come back and call me a snitch.'
"Call it what you want, baby, I need you to come tell it."
In an emailed statement, Sanford police Chief Cecil Smith called the rash of shooting beyond frustrating.
"These incidents do not just impact the victims and their families. We are all affected by this violence," Smith said. "It is up to us as a community to decide together that this type of violence is not acceptable here in Sanford."
Smith urged witnesses to speak to investigators about "these senseless and devastating acts of violence."
Police have increased patrols of the area.
The shooting remains under investigation.
Anyone having additional information is asked to contact call Crimeline at 407-423-8477.
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