It has been three and a half years since Johnny Salafia was shot at point-blank range on the front doorstep of his South Coast home at Kings Point.
In a split second, his family lost a father, a brother, a husband and a son.
His brazen killer remains at large.
Carly Stewart, Johnny’s ex-wife and the mother of his oldest son Dylan, described her former partner as “larger than life” saying he had a “massive heart”.
“He was the first person to stand up and defend anyone if something was wrong,” she said.
In his early life, the 38-year-old cement renderer was swayed by friends to join the outlaw Rebels Motorcycle Club.
It was a brief flirtation in the early 2000’s claims Carly Stewart, with his membership of the outlaw gang lasting only six months.
On June 23, 2013 - a Sunday night – 38-year-old Johnny, his wife Sara, their two young daughters and Dylan had spent the evening at the cinemas watching Despicable Me 2.
Dylan was dropped home at Carly’s house.
He told his mother he’d never seen his father so happy.
“They were going to take a family photo that night, but unfortunately the moment was missed,” Carly said.
What sort of animal comes to the door and shoots a man?Carly Stewart
It was a pertinent time for the extended Salafia family; Johnny had survived a crash at Bargo nine days earlier in which an elderly man was killed.
Johnny was cleared of any wrongdoing of this crash however it had left him in a state of deep reflection, Carly said.
After tucking his daughters into bed with their mother, Johnny heard a knock at the door.
It seemed he knew the late night visitor by the way the pair greeted each other, neighbors would later tell the Milton Ulladulla Times.
Moments later, two shots rang out, shattering the still night.
Johnny was shot twice in the head and chest. He died where he fell.
In an instant, the lives of the extended Salafia’s family was forever changed.
Carly still clearly remembers police arriving at her door at 4am and delivering the horrific news.
“Them [police] saying Johnny had been killed was the moment which shattered our whole lives,” Carly said.
“It changed everything for everybody.”
No one has ever been charged over Johnny’s murder, despite a dedicated strike force, codename Hobler, being formed to investigate the killing.
Now, as the days have given way to months and years, Carly says Johnny’s family has been left with a hole that can never be filled.
“We all try and band together and make Christmas, birthdays and Father’s Days special but it is not the same,” Carly said.
“There is an empty chair at the table.”
The question of why anyone would want to hurt Johnny Salafia has haunted the family ever since the murder.
“What sort of animal comes to the door and shoots a man?” Carly asked.
“They wanted to hurt John. But the thing is John didn’t know he died, they hurt all of us.”
Police appeal for anyone who does have any information about the murder, to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.