November 19, 2011 at 3:45 AM EST - Updated June 25 at 10:56 PM
VERO BEACH, FL (WFLX) The Vero Beach Police Department has identified the victim in an apparent homicide Thursday evening. Brian L. Simpson, 41, was found dead inside his home at 620 Fiddlewood Road. Friends and neighbors said Simpson was a hardworking father, husband and friend.
Several 911 calls were made before 7 p.m. on Thursday after neighbors reported hearing gunshots coming from the home where the Simpson was found.
"I could tell from when they roped off the yard that it was more than just a robbery," said Bill Schabot, who lives next door to Simpson's home.
Police said that Simpson likely walked in on a burglary in progress. They believe he came face-to-face with an armed subject. Gunshots rang out and investigators said that Simpson later died as a result of his bullet wounds.
Sandy Aracena is especially heartbroken by Simpson's murder because he calls the victim his best friend.
"A lot of things going through my head right now, one of them is anger. I'm really angry right now," said Aracena, who has worked with Simpson for years. "They're pretty well known in the community, very friendly people. I can't see them having enemies," he said of the Simpson family.
Simpson has been employed as an outside salesperson for the last 14 years at Central Window company, located on U.S. 1 in Vero Beach. Friends said that Simpson has a daughter and son, both teenagers, as well as a wife who is said to be an elementary school teacher in the area.
Much of the 600 block of Fiddlewood Road remained blocked off to traffic and was cordoned off by crime scene tape.
Several agencies, including the Vero Beach Police Department and the Indian River County Sheriff's Office, were on the scene.
"You think about coming into your house and someone being there and it's really a scary thought," said Schabot.
Fiddlewood Road is in a barrier island neighborhood just west of State Road A1A. The home where the Simpson's body was discovered is directly across the street from Christ By The Sea United Methodist Church.
Detectives said they are actively investigating several leads and are hoping that members of the public may be able to provide more information about what may have happened on Thursday evening.
Anyone with information about this homicide case is asked to call Vero Beach Police at 772-978-4600.