Family and friends honor Meijer shooting victim

Family and friends of Jacob Walerko spoke out Saturday night about his death. His brother is working to have a glass partition built over the counter of the gas station.

Posted: Dec. 9, 2017 10:47 PM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT)- The family and friends of Jacob Walerko are remembering him just over two weeks after his death. 

"My brother was one of the greatest people I knew. He was full of light," said Jared Walerko, Jacob's brother. 

Jacob Walerko was shot and killed at the Meijer gas station on Thanksgiving. 

Walerko said the best way to honor his brother is with a glass partition over the counter to represent Jacob's strength, and make sure no one else is lost to violence. 

"It's going to start at this gas station and we'll see what happens. Maybe every gas station will have a bulletproof partition," he said. 

Friends of Jacob Walerko said his death was felt by everyone. 

"This was a needless and tragic death, and I feel that it could've been prevented with some reasonable precautions. The entire community mourns his loss," said Aaron Wagner, a family friend. 

They remembered the last moments with Jacob before he died. 

"I spoke with Jacob on the phone the night before Thanksgiving. I feel very special that I was one of the last people that spoke with him," said Eddie Birmingham, another family friend. 

Complete strangers have already started bringing flowers to show their support. 

"I think such a young soul that has done so much good in life already, and to see him taken away, and how this family is suffering just tore us up," said Bruce Chwalek, who brought flowers to the gas station with his wife. 

Jared Walerko said no matter how long it takes, he'll make sure his brother is never forgotten. 

"I might be here every day. Who knows? I'm a very dedicated individual," he said. 

Anyone who wants to drop off flowers can do so at the Meijer gas station. Walerko plans to write a letter Sunday to ask Meijer to pay for the partition. He said if they decline, he'll ask for community support through a Go Fund Me page. 

Article Comments

Fort Wayne
Overcast
46° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 41°
Angola
Overcast
41° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 41°
Huntington
Overcast
44° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 42°
Decatur
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 42°
Van Wert
Overcast
45° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 42°
Drying out on Monday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events