Randal "R. J." Statler Jr. was a person described by his family and friends as a 28-year-old who had a smile that could light up a room.
On Sunday, that smile was taken away when he was shot once in the back of the head by an unknown shooter.
"For a young life, such as his to be snuffed senselessly, violently, it's terrible," Statler's great uncle Mike told CBS Atlanta News. Mike did not want to give us his last name because the shooter is still at large.
"We are just hoping for swift justice. There is a reward that has been posted. Whoever has information that might lead to the capture of this murderer should contact the police hotline."
It was Sunday, between 7 and 11 p.m., that Cartersville police said Statler was washing his car at the Sun Glo car wash off Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. He spent his day mudding and hanging with friends and stopped to clean off the dirt.
He was found shot to death, and the only item missing was his cell phone.
"The motive is completely unclear, although he was shot, one shot to the back of the head," Mike said.
Mike doesn't believe this was a robbery they believe Statler was targeted and executed.
"Nothing but a cell phone was taken, there were valuables there, money, a wallet in his truck, but nothing was taken."
Investigators said they have 30 officers working to solve this case. So far, they have followed up on leads but have not released any information about a suspect. That is why the family is offering $3,000 of their own money as a reward for any information that leads to an arrest.
"We need the public's help, somebody out there knows something and that's all we are asking for," Mike said. "He was such a beloved young man, had you been here earlier you would have seen people his age, in droves (at his viewing) and all were terribly upset because he touched their lives. That big smile you see in the photograph over there is exactly who he was. Whoever he touched, he touched for the better. He will be sorely missed."
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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