The Journal Gazette
Thursday, June 24, 2021 1:00 am

Victim in shooting identified

Columbia City native was 20; she 'impacted people's lives'

JAMIE DUFFY | The Journal Gazette

Davin Vonholdt says his sister, Shelby Erin Vonholdt, will be remembered by so many people. She was the life of the party, he said.

The Allen County coroner's office Tuesday identified Shelby Vonholdt as the woman who was fatally shot Sunday in a home in the 1800 block of Eileen Street.

The 20-year-old is Allen County's 22nd homicide victim this year. She was shot multiple times, the coroner said.

Valerie Rose Hardiek, 22, was charged with murder and using a firearm in the commission of a crime after Vonholdt died at a hospital Tuesday morning.

Police were called at 6:44 p.m. to the Eileen Street home where Shelby Vonholdt stayed conscious long enough to call a 911 dispatcher, identifying her shooter, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Hardiek was picked up Monday in Van Wert County, Ohio, on charges of pointing a firearm at another person at a gas station in Willshire.

“Shelby was someone who impacted people's lives in so many ways,” her brother said. “She would want to be remembered and someone who would want justice.”

Davin Vonholdt said the bullets that killed his sister have been identified by police as coming from the same gun that Hardiek used at the gas station in Willshire.

Shelby, her brother Davin and two other siblings grew up in Columbia City, where Shelby graduated from high school. She worked in Fort Wayne, he said.

He was not aware of any connection between his sister and Hardiek, but a probable cause affidavit said Hardiek had visited the Eileen Street home before and was known to both the homeowner and Shelby Vonholdt.

Shelby was a friendly person who knew a lot of people, her brother said.

“It's still hard to wrap my mind around,” he said, allowing that “at some point, the two women may have crossed paths.” He added, “My family is taking it pretty hard right now.”

As of Wednesday evening, Hardiek had not been transferred to the Allen County Jail to face charges.

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