The family of Steven Sotloff released a statement Wednesday, breaking silence for the first time since the journalist was brutally murdered by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS).
“Steve had a gentle soul that this world will be without,” said representative Barak Barfi, reading remarks from Sotloff’s parents before crowd of reporters in Miami. “But his spirit will endure in our hearts.”
The statements read by Barfi revealed intimate details about Sotloff, who wrote for TIME among other outlets. He was a fan of South Park, junk food and the Miami Dolphins, who always found time to Skype his dad about his golf games. He was also a passionate journalist who “merely wanted to give a voice to those who had none.”
“He was no hero,” Barfi said. “He was a man who tried to find good in a world full of darkness.” The family also offered condolences to the family of James Foley, another American journalist killed by ISIS terrorists. Barfi said Sotloff’s family has asked for privacy in the wake of his death before delivering an additional statement in Arabic.
Though the Sotloff family’s statement clearly expressed their grief, they noted that they will “emerge from this ordeal.”
“Our village is strong,” Barfi said. “We will not allow our enemies to hold hostage the sole [thing] which they possess, fear.”