ATLANTA - Terry Hurst is a lifelong friend of Michael Jeter and even went to school with The Gordon Body Shop owner.
Jeter's family told FOX 5 somebody unmercifully beat the 52-year-old inside his Ralph David Abernathy business Sunday night, and then left him for dead.
One of Jeter's brothers said he discovered the husband and father unconscious after Jeter didn't show up at a restaurant for a family dinner. The people who know Mr. Jeter best describe him as a very caring man.
"I can't see nothing Mike would do to make somebody do something like that to him. I don't know if the motive was robbery. Anybody know you don't keep money in a body shop," said friend Terry Hurst.
"Mike was a nice man. He helped you out in the neighborhood and in the community. He's a very, very good man," said neighbor Michelle Jones.
Mrs. Jones says Jeter was so generous, he would volunteer to mow residents grass at no charge. He even ran for the Atlanta School Board in 2011. Now, Homicide investigators are trying to track down the person who attacked Jeter.
"We were first on the scene," Atlanta Fire Rescue Captain Jimmy Gittens said.
A passerby rushed to get firefighters across the street at Station 17. They too are very familiar with Jeter's community ties and work ethic.
"He was a great guy in the community. We see him every day - Sunday through Monday - bright and early in the morning. We all here at the station are pulling for him. We hope he pulls through," Captain Gittens remarked.
Mr. Jeter remained in critical condition Monday night with head injuries at Grady Memorial Hospital.