DOVER The father of a 34-year-old Dover man, who was shot and killed Tuesday in what officials are calling a homicide, is remembering his son as "a loving, kind and helpful person."

Ray Eldridge, father of Raymond B. Eldridge II, provided a written statement to Foster's Daily Democrat on Thursday expressing grief and sharing fond memories.

"(He was) always willing to help a friend," Eldridge Sr. said. "If he was your friend, he was part of your family. He was loved by all that knew him."

Eldridge Sr. declined to speak about the circumstances surrounding his son's death, saying he was out of state and wanted to find out more information from authorities before commenting. Eldridge Sr. said Eldridge II was not aggressive or violent.

"He would never start a fight, but he was not one to back down if he believed he was right," Eldridge Sr. said. "He was the first to admit when he was wrong."

The fatal incident occurred around 10 p.m. Tuesday outside the 31 Cochecho St. business in Dover, authorities have said. The cause of death was confirmed by an autopsy, according to a joint statement issued Thursday by state Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald and Dover Police Chief William Breault.

Associate state medical examiner Christine R. James determined Eldridge died from gunshot wound to the chest, and that the manner of death was homicide, authorities said.

Senior Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said the investigation is ongoing, but no arrests have been made and no one has been taken into custody. Hinckley declined to answer questions about the nature of the conflict between the people involved, citing the ongoing investigation.

Eldridge Sr. said his son had a great sense of humor.

"He was the type of son that would make you laugh till you cried and then he would slap you on the back and tell you how much he loved you," Eldridge Sr. said. "He will be missed beyond words."