Friends set up GoFundMe for daughter of man killed in Hempstead on Christmas

Posted: Updated:
Rafael Cepeda was gunned down near the intersection of Terrace Avenue and Bedell Street at 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. Rafael Cepeda was gunned down near the intersection of Terrace Avenue and Bedell Street at 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Day.
HEMPSTEAD -

As police continue their search for a gunman who killed another man on Christmas in Hempstead, the victim's friends and family are left mourning.

"He was perfect," says Imani Mazyck, whose boyfriend of seven years, Rafael Cepeda, was gunned down near the intersection of Terrace Avenue and Bedell Street at 6:30 p.m. on Christmas Day. "It's so sad that we don't realize it when it's right in front of us. We realize it when it's gone."

Friends say Cepeda was more intimately known as Ralphy, a doting father to his 11-year-old daughter, Carmen.

"You never see a single dad taking care of, not just a boy but a girl, raising a girl on his own, nobody's helping him, none of that," Mazyck says.

She says she believes he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, caught up in the crossfire of gang violence in the notoriously dangerous area.

And while Mazyck and Cepeda's other friends say there is no comfort knowing the shooter is still on the loose, their concern is more about taking care of the girl he left behind.

"We can't do anything about that, and it's sad that we can't bring him back, but now it's about Carmen," says Genevra Dommermuth, another friend.

So the friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign to pay for Cepeda's funeral services and to help take care of his daughter.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."