BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The brutal murder of a prominent researcher at the National Institutes of Health stunned his Northeast Baltimore community. Police are searching for his killer.

Mike Hellgren spoke to his loved ones and has new information on this developing investigation.

READ MORE: 'The School Shouldn't Be Open Right Now': Parents React To COVID-19 Outbreak At Cherry Hill Elementary Middle School

Loved ones remember Dr. Peter Marvit for the rich life he lived and are struggling to understand why someone would shoot and kill him as he got out of his car after chorus practice near his home on Chesterfield Avenue on the border with Herring Run Park.

“Peter was smiling back at me in rehearsal last night…in the middle of this great chorus that he was so proud to be part of,” said Tom Hall, Music Director of the Baltimore Choral Arts. “Within minutes of that experience, he was gone.”

Hall was one of the last people to see him alive.

“That that would be taken from us, it’s just so hurtful and sad,” said Hall.

Marvit held a Ph.D. in psychology. He worked at the National Institutes of Health and had long been affiliated with the University of Maryland.

This happened so close to the victim’s home, family members heard the gunshots–but they never imagined this was him.

READ MORE: Almost 9,000 Vaccinated Marylanders Get Additional Shots Since Approval of Pfizer Booster

Investigators believe the motive was robbery but have not said whether anything was taken.

“The victim had no prior contacts with law enforcement. There is no history of drug abuse or suspicious calls in the area that would lead us in another direction,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore City Police spokesperson.

The murder happened around 10:30 p.m. Monday. The medical examiner is conducting an autopsy on the body.

“We have been robbed of a great friend, a great human who was all about that which was good in the world,” Hall said.

The National Institutes of Health issued a statement offering their condolences to Marvit’s family.

Funeral services are private.

MORE NEWS: 'We're The Cure To This Situation': 9 Killed, 13 Wounded In Baltimore Over The Past Week

Contributions in his memory may be sent to Baltimore Choral Society, 1316 Park Avenue, Baltimore, Md. 21217. Visiting hours for family and friends will be on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. at 112 Hawthorn Road, Baltimore, Md. 21210.