'Not having him here, it hurts. It hurts so much'
In the front lounge of Richard Arow’s family home, extended family surround the 28-year-old’s brothers, sister and mother each cruelled by the violence they fled South Sudan to avoid.
Yom Ayom immigrated to Australia with her five young children in November of 2002.
Speaking through tears in her native tongue, two days after Richard’s passing, she laments the inhumane act that stole her “family angel.”
“It has literally destroyed her life,” translates Richard Arow’s cousin, Adol Takpiny.
“In her words, she came to Australia to stay away from war and bullets. Today a bullet has claimed her son. The very same bullet and fighting that she ran away from.”
Early in the morning on the Sunday before Easter, Richard Arow and his girlfriend were waiting in line to enter the Love Machine nightclub in the Melbourne suburb of Prahran.
Without warning they were sprayed with bullets from a stolen Porsche SUV just after three-o’clock.
Security guard, Aaron Khalid Osmani was killed by a bullet to the face.
Richard Arow was also struck to the head.
His sister, Achol was told by the medical team at the Alfred hospital later that day that her brother wouldn’t survive.
She and her mother stayed by his side for up to 20 hours a day until Richard passed away Friday evening.
“He's always been my protector. Like protecting me in the sense we're like I know he's always there,” Achol says wiping tears from her cheek.
“He always used to tell me that he'll be there for me 110% no matter what.”
“Not having him here, it hurts. It hurts so much.”
Known for being “all smiles,” Richard Arow knew how to embrace life; skydiving on holiday with his girlfriend in Mexico earlier this year.
He would volunteer in youth justice when he wasn’t helping train the next generation of Brimbank Stallion soccer players or working in transport logistics.
Girlfriend Rebekah Spinks says his recent application to become an MFB firefighter “was about more than giving back to the community".
“He wanted to be a representative as a young south-Sudanese man here in Australia,” she told 9News.
“It was really important to him. He was very passionate about it. It started with football but it became more than that.”
“He really felt that was his purpose.”
Gathered in grief at the family’s Maidstone home, Richard’s youngest brother Timothy said his brother “meant the world to me.”
“He was the second oldest, but he held this family together.”
“He's my brother but at the same time he was my father figure as well.”
“He was so kind-hearted, he just wanted to help people. That was his thing, helping people.”
Cousin, Adol Takpiny said the overwhelming support from Richard’s friends and the broader Victorian community had “been tremendous”.
“We would like to thank the treating team at the Alfred Hospital. They have done a great job. They have tried their best to revive Kur.”
“We would like to extend our appreciation and gratitude for the job they have done for us.”
No arrests have been made over the shooting on April 14.
Richard’s family is waiting to hear directly from police rather than place stock into why the gunman with “a dark soul” carried out the attack.
Choosing instead to focus on Richard’s legacy of love, compassion and friendship.
“In the hundreds and hundreds of people that came to visit Richard in hospital, so many said ‘I’m Richard’s best friend’,” said girlfriend Rebekah.
“He had a name for everyone.”
“I can’t describe his level of energy and selflessness.”
More than $5,000 has been donated to a GoFundMe page to help ease the financial burden on Richard Arow’s family.
© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019