By Paul Burton

LOWELL (CBS) – Tony Iem fights back tears. On Sunday, he laid flowers, lit candles and said a prayer at the spot where his older brother, Jimmy Iem, was killed.

“My whole life he was the guy protecting me,” Tony said. Police say on Saturday the 30-year-old was shot while standing on Spring Avenue in Lowell. His friend quickly ran outside her house to help him.

Friends and family mourn Jimmy Iem, who was shot to death in Lowell on Saturday night.

“We heard gunshots, so I ran outside and saw him on the floor. I grabbed his head right away and searched for the bullet wound,” the neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said. Iem was taken to the hospital but did not survive. “He came out to grab his phone, and somebody was waiting. I don’t know why. He just got back from Mohegan Sun yesterday.”

Jimmy Iem (WBZ-TV)

On Sunday afternoon, dozens of family and friends came to the memorial site to pay their respects as they embraced one another in grief. Tony says his brother was his mentor. “He looked after me. It was just me and him living on our own, and he took care of me. He did what he could to support me. I was only 9 years old,” his brother said.

Right now, police are still searching for the shooter. They say the incident does not appear to be random.

“I saw him two weeks ago during the Super Bowl, and he wanted to hang out with me more,” Tony said.

The family says Jimmy leaves behind two children, who are 3 and 5.

Paul Burton