CLARKE CO., Miss. (WTOK)- A family stands devastated, waiting to learn who might have murdered 31-year-old Bruce O'Bryant Dear outside his home Sunday morning.
"We suffering behind this. Y'all done broke my heart," Dear's mother Tracey Bland says. "Y'all shouldn't have took my child from me. Why did y'all take my child?"
The sheriff says dear was outside his vehicle near his apartment on Highway 511 when multiple people pulled up to rob him. But things quickly turned violent.
"Once they started firing rounds, he got into the vehicle and was trying to leave," Sheriff Todd Kemp says.
Sheriff Kemp says they believe Dear was hit by that gunfire. As he was trying to get away, he crashed his car into a red clay bank across the highway where it caught fire amongst the dry brush.
"Because it was accelerating at a high rate, we believe that the vehicle started the fire itself," he says.
For Dear's family, they say getting that call was heart-breaking.
"It's hard to explain," Dear's stepfather Eric Lang says. "It's just like everything just closed off and dropped. Like your life just dropped for a minute."
Dear leaves behind a fiancé and two children, an 8-year-old son and a 7-year-old daughter, who loved him.
"As much as they stereotype black males, he wasn't one of those stereotypical black males," Dear's cousin Kirby Pugh says. "He was out there to get it, and that's what he was striving for."
Now, they wait for justice.
"At this point, it is a puzzle, we're just trying to put those pieces together," the sheriff says.
"We do black lives matter, and black lives do matter," Pugh says. "But what about your brother? What about black on black crime?"
"I can't wait until they get them," Bland says. "I promise, I can't wait until they get y'all. I promise. And I want to see if y'all will be able to look me in the face and answer the question, 'Why did y'all kill my son?'"
The sheriff says they do have two persons of interest in this case thanks to help from witnesses. They're asking for anyone else who has information to come forward.