HOLLYWOOD, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida community is reeling days after, authorities said, a doctor with a history of violent behavior shot and killed his father before injuring himself.
Sixty-seven-year-old Asher Azulay, who worked as a chef at South Florida Kosher Meats in North Miami Beach, was found dead inside a home in a gated community in Weston, Saturday morning.
Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies also found his son, 43-year-old Rafael Azulay, with at least two self-inflicted gunshot wounds in the stomach.
According to investigators, Asher went to his son’s home, accompanied by his wife, to help him with something. The younger Azulay was acting strangely and began asking his father questions, and when Asher couldn’t answer them, Rafael pulled out a gun and shot him in the neck.
Detectives said Rafael then turned the firearm on himself, shooting at least twice.
Friends and family members told 7News the father and son were very close, and that’s why the fatal shooting comes as a shock to them.
“I was in shock that it happened, and I couldn’t believe that it happened because [Asher] loved his son, the son loved him,” said Yitzie Spalter, the owner of the deli where Asher worked. “That’s such a loving relationship, and that’s why I’m so mind-boggled. I just can’t get over it.”
Paramedics transported Rafael to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he used to work as an internist. He is listed in critical condition.
Monday afternoon, a small memorial for Asher, including a photo of him, flowers and a candle, was placed on a tray at his deli.
“We considered him part of our family,” said Yitzie.
Those who knew him at the deli said the elder Azulay was much more than a chef. “He was just a happy person. He was always joking, always funny, always patient,” said Penina Spalter.
“He was personable, he was honest, he was friendly,” said Yitzie. “Nothing was too much for him. Nothing was too little for him.”
Yitzie added that Rafael was Asher’s pride and joy. “He used to come everyday to talk about his son — he was the pride of his life, a doctor, successful doctor,” he said.
The deli owner said Asher’s wife witnessed the whole ordeal. “She was in shock. She couldn’t believe she wasn’t going to see him again,” he said. “She was crying, she was screaming.”
Rafael has a troubled past. The suspect was arrested three times in less than four years for allegedly beating his girlfriend which left bruises and marks. The last arrest took place in March; he was charged with felony battery.
“He had everything in life that he needed,” said Yitzie. “Every time he needed help with something, he would run over and he would help [Asher] out. They just loved each other.”
Other friends of Asher also expressed their surprise. “Loved him. He was wonderful, he was calm, he was a great cook,” said a family friend. “The whole situation is bizarre.”
“The community is going to miss him,” said Penina as she held back tears. “It’s not just about us. This whole community is going to miss him.”
When they entered the younger Azulay’s home, deputies found notes saying “do not resuscitate.” However, he was still alive.
Rafael has been unable to speak, so it remains unclear what charges he will face.
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