The Journal Gazette
Wednesday, June 23, 2021 1:00 am

Woman charged in fatal shooting

Found in Van Wert; victim dies Tuesday

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

As the shooting victim was lying inside an Eileen Street home, a police officer asked who shot her. 

“Valerie,” she told Fort Wayne police Sgt. Brad Griffin when he responded to the shooting at 6:44 p.m. Sunday in the 1800 block of Eileen. She'd also told the 911 dispatcher when she reported her own shooting. The woman died Tuesday, police said.

Valerie R. Hardiek, 22, was arrested Monday in Van Wert County, Ohio, after police said she was seen pointing a Glock 43 handgun at several people. On Tuesday, she was charged with murder and using a firearm in the commission of an offense in the Eileen Street shooting. 

The Allen County coroner will identify the victim, who is expected to become the county's 22nd homicide victim this year. 

When the victim was taken to a hospital, doctors determined she'd been shot multiple times in the chest and abdomen and had received 50 liters of blood to keep her alive, according to court documents. The doctors said the victim's bowels weren't connected and her condition was unstable. 

Although court documents indicated Hardiek was homeless, a probable cause affidavit identified her address as an apartment off St. Joe Road. She was the registered owner of a Cadillac Escalade and a silver Chevy Impala, records said. 

A witness said he'd left his home the day of the shooting and that the victim was there alone when he left. The victim told him, however, that Valerie intended to come over and the two of them joked about how “crazy” Valerie was, court documents said. 

The witness also told detectives that “Valerie” owned a Glock handgun and he'd seen it recently. 

Another witness told detectives “Valerie” had threatened her recently with a gun. The detectives further linked Hardiek to a Chevy Impala through video and audio from a Ring doorbell. Four gunshots are heard at 6:44 p.m., then the camera captures a silver Impala leaving the area, court documents said. 

Further charges await Hardiek after she allegedly pointed a gun at a man at the RoadDog Convenience Store in Willshire, Ohio, on Monday morning. 

Hardiek was seen hanging around gas pumps and appeared to be trying to read credit card numbers from customers, according to a release from Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach. 

She was arrested Monday and charged with felonious assault and misdemeanor aggravated menacing.

She was taken to the Van Wert County Correctional Facility.

This story has been corrected.

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