JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Dustin Minarik's children share memories about their dad, whom they now have to grow up without.
"We would just have these days, just me and him. He would take me to his work, he would let me paint a car," said Alexis Minarik, Dustin's daughter. "I miss him and I love him so much."
Dustin Minarik was a body man, painting cars for a living. The 34-year-old was supposed to be fixing one in his driveway on Kline Road on the Southside the next morning when teenagers in a home across the street Saturday night were having a CD release party and it was spiraling out of control, according to police.
Minarik went outside to move the car. A few minutes before, a neighbor, who wants her identity concealed, saw four teens drive up in a dark blue or green Grand Prix.
"They literally just pulled up in front of the house, got out, popped the trunk, grabbed the shotguns and ran," the neighbor said.
They ran toward the party. Neighbors said they started shooting in the air.
They said Minarik told them to chill out, and one of the teens fired at him, hitting him in the back. Then all the kids scattered.
"The one kid threw the shotgun in the trunk and said, 'Let's go, let's go!' And it was just one big scramble," the neighbor said.
"He was my best friend. He was a great dad," said Annie Minarik, Dustin's wife. "He loved these guys more than everything, whether he liked me or not."
"Now his children are waking up with no father this morning; sad, senseless," said AJ Jordan, of Men Against Destruction Defending Against Drugs and Social Disorder, otherwise known as MAD DADS.
"It's just so shocking that he's gone," said Alissa Martell, Dustin's niece. "Whoever did this just needs to come clean because this is hurting everybody."
Dustin Minarik's family said he always put them first. Now his wife is trying to figure out how she'll be able to afford to raise the kids.
"I have got the three of them now all by myself, and it's going to be a struggle. I don't have it," she said.
Minarik's children don't have a dad, only memories.
"I love my daddy and I want him back," said Dustin Minarik II.
Minarik's family has setting up a VyStar account to help collect donations for Minarik's kids. The account number is 3045815333.
Anyone who with any information about the killing is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 866-845-TIPS.
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