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'Hearts Over Hate' Aims to Carry on the Legacy of Calif. Dentist Fatally Shot in His Office

Jake Harouni, the brother of slain dentist Benjamin, say his family hopes to help other families affected by violent crime

<p>Courtesy of Jake Harouni <a href="https://www.instagram.com/heartsoverhate/">@heartsoverhate</a></p> Ben Harouni, left, with his brother Jake Harouni

Courtesy of Jake Harouni @heartsoverhate

Ben Harouni, left, with his brother Jake Harouni

Benjamin Harouni was generous. His younger brother Jake, who is pursuing a career in the music industry, will attest to that. It was Ben’s idea to go to Lollapalooza, but Jake, then a college student, couldn’t afford it. So Ben footed the bill, booking them both plane tickets and a place to stay.

“He knew I love music, so he wanted me to just experience that and have fun with him,” Jake tells PEOPLE. “I think that kind of summarizes who he was.”

Ben, who followed his father into dentistry, was working in his Ej Cajon, Calif., office on Feb. 29 when police say a gunman entered and fatally shot him and injured two others. Police called the suspect, Mohammed Abdulkareem, a "disgruntled former customer.”

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Related: 'Disgruntled' Former Patient Allegedly Killed Beloved Dentist with Gun He'd Recently Purchased: Police

Police allege that Abdulkareem fled the scene in a U-Haul truck and was arrested that night in San Diego. He has been charged with murder and two counts of attempted murder. CBS 8 reported that he has pleaded not guilty.

Survived by his two brothers and parents, Ben’s death has been devastating. But Jake says his family is hoping to turn a horrific moment into something positive.

<p>Courtesy of Jake Harouni <a href="https://www.instagram.com/heartsoverhate/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">@heartsoverhate</a></p> Ben Harouni, center, with his brothers Jake, far left, and Gabe, far right; and parents, Jack and Hilda

Courtesy of Jake Harouni @heartsoverhate

Ben Harouni, center, with his brothers Jake, far left, and Gabe, far right; and parents, Jack and Hilda

“It's easy for us to get sucked into this spiral of hate when it's directly directed at my family,” Jake says. “But I think the correct way to go about it is just to spread more love to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”

Jake says they are starting the Hearts Over Hate foundation in response to the shooting that killed Ben just over a week after his 28th birthday.

The Harouni family has been bolstered by swaths of support from their local Jewish community, which Jake says has helped them through an incredibly difficult time. However, Jake says he also knows that not every family has access to the same level of support.

<p>Courtesy of Jake Harouni <a href="https://www.instagram.com/heartsoverhate/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">@heartsoverhate</a></p> Benjamin Harouni

Courtesy of Jake Harouni @heartsoverhate

Benjamin Harouni

The goal of the foundation is to raise money for the less fortunate victims of violent crime and their families.

“For us, it's been difficult just to grieve,” says Jake. “So I couldn't imagine having to worry about financial support or other forms of support.”

The foundation also serves as a way to carry on Ben’s legacy. Originally from Sacramento, Ben attended the University of Southern California, where he was on the ski team.

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Ben always wanted to be a dentist, like his father, Jack. After dental school, Ben moved down to San Diego, where Jack owned some dental offices. Jake says it’s a great profession for someone who loved to help people.

“He always wanted to make people feel good about themselves,” Jake says. “His ideology was that it starts with a smile, with a nice smile. And it was just so fitting of him to be a dentist.”

<p>Courtesy of Jake Harouni <a href="https://www.instagram.com/heartsoverhate/" data-component="link" data-source="inlineLink" data-type="externalLink" data-ordinal="1">@heartsoverhate</a></p> Ben, left, and Jake Harouni

Courtesy of Jake Harouni @heartsoverhate

Ben, left, and Jake Harouni

The long-term goal of Hearts Over Hate is to take a proactive approach to root out violence. Jake is hopeful that his brother’s legacy will encourage people to want to make the world a more peaceful place.

“I want to push home the point that in times of hatred we need to stand up and fight back with love, even though that's not necessarily an easy way out,” Jake says. “I just wish everybody would take that bit of Ben with them and try to make the world a better place.”

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Read the original article on People.