A Leeds family hopes their neighbor, who was shot and killed outside their home, is remembered for more than that.
"There are no adequate words to express the sadness our family feels at this time," reads a statement from Tammy Bleak, on behalf of her family, who live at the home. "Our hearts and prayers go out to Steve’s family for their incalculable loss."
On Thursday evening, witnesses told detectives that 70-year-old Stephen Aizenberg walked up to the Bleaks’ home near Silverado Circle and pointed a handgun at the home’s occupants. A neighbor called 911, but before officers could arrive a male visitor at the neighbors’ home shot Aizenberg.
"Our family is shocked and shattered by the loss," Aizenberg’s family said in a statement released through a family friend, Alexa Bluth. The statement describes Aizenberg as a respected businessman with a long career in real estate and general contracting, whose "family and community always came first. He lived a life committed to improving the lives of others, helping those in need and never wished harm on any soul."
Aizenberg’s family adds that they "may never have all of the answers about this senseless tragedy. But we know without a shadow of a doubt that Stephen dedicated himself for all of his 70 years to family, community philanthropy and faith. Our hearts are broken as we mourn his loss."
Detectives have not been able to determine why Aizenberg confronted the Bleaks; visitors, said Washington County sheriff’s Chief Deputy Shauna Jones. There is no evidence of any prior confrontations between Aizenberg, his neighbors or their visitors, Jones said.
"All life is precious. On Thursday night one was lost, and others changed forever," the Bleaks’ statement adds. "We wish this tragedy had not occurred and pray that Mr. Aizenberg will be remembered and cherished for his life’s accomplishments and not ever defined by this one tragic event."
Jones said the shooter, who was not arrested, remained on the scene and cooperated with investigators.
Jones said the results of their investigation will be submitted to the Washington County attorney’s office for review.
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