Murder Victim's Friend Talks to WFFT

Jacob Walerko's friends are speaking about his memory after learning about his sudden death yesterday. Walerko was shot and killed while working at the Meijer gas station on Lima Road in Fort Wayne.

Posted: Nov. 24, 2017 11:20 PM
Updated: Nov. 27, 2017 8:59 AM

Jacob Walerko's friends are speaking about his memory after learning about his sudden death yesterday.

WFFT'S Melea VanOstrand spoke to one of his friends who says he's still in shock.

"Man, I don't really know what to say right now. It's just surprising, it's shocking to me, his friends, his family," said Dan Hazebrouck.

Hazebrouck says Jacob Walerko was a close friend. In fact, he was just with him last week.

"Me and him were just going around looking for jobs actually. Trying to find a new job and he was helping me out. It's just crazy to think that he wont be standing right here ever again."

Dan describes Jacob as the kind of guy everyone loved and respected.

"He was a good guy to hang out with, a funny guy. Always had a joke. He cared so much about other people almost more than himself. He was a very giving person."

The two grew up together in Warsaw.

"We went to the same middle school, and high school which was in Warsaw. When we both got older we ended up both moving to fort wayne, and hanging out some more out here," said Hazebrouck.

Dan says he doesn't think the suspect in Walerko's death, Victor Rivera knew Walerko.

"I've never head Jacob speak his name before. From what I know it there was no personal connection. It was just a robbery that went wrong."

Dan says his friend's death leaves him with a lot of questions for Rivera.

"I'd ask him why. Why he would do something like that. I would ask him what he would do if he could take it back. I'd ask him if he would do that. I would hope that he's looking to change his life around at least maybe he find's god in there."

But if Dan could tell Jacob one last thing?

"Jacob, we all love you, we all miss you, you're a great guy and this is so unfair."

Hazevrouck says he hopes and prays that justice will be served, and is relieved the suspect has been charged.

WFFT also reached out to Meijer and the store released the following statement: "We are shocked and saddened by the events that occurred last night. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of our team member and we are working closely with local law enforcement on the investigation."

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