Friend remembers man shot, killed while delivering pizza

Daniel Jaffke  (Provided Photo)
Daniel Jaffke (Provided Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – It’s been a painful 24 hours for the friends and family of an Indianapolis man killed while trying to do his job.

Friday night, 30-year-old Daniel Jaffke was shot to death while delivering pizza in a south side neighborhood.

Saturday night, those close him want to tell the story not about his job, but his passion: music.

The biggest development Saturday for police involved the jeep Jaffke was driving during his shift.

They found it ditched in a parking lot on the 1600 block of S. East Street this morning. Police say the suspect stole it.

Unfortunately, that suspect also stole Jaffke’s life, something his friends are struggling to cope with.

“He had this roar about him, this screaming kind of ‘ahhh’, and he was great at it,” said musician Derek Hanson with a smile.

And after the first time he heard it that voice, Hanson knew his band, “Two O’clock Twilight,” found its lead singer.

“He was the storyteller. He was the one that made all of my music make sense. It made me feel complete that I could work with someone like that,” he said.

What doesn’t make sense to him is how Jaffke, his friend and band mate of 14 years, won’t ever be able to take the stage with him again.

Jaffke was making a delivery at an apartment complex Friday. Minutes after dropping it off, he was found shot dead and his jeep was missing.

After hearing those facts on the news, Hanson already knew the worst.

“I read the article and they talked about the black Jeep Cherokee that was stolen, and it was just ‘ohhh no’.’’

Police found it ditched in this parking lot a few miles from the scene.

The lady who spotted the SUV couldn’t believe story.

“I feel for the family that’s going to have to be notified that their loved one was, to me, stupidly killed,” said Theresa McColl. “I mean, there’s no reason that this person had to go out and make a living, and then get shot for it and die.”

It’s those sad final moments of Jaffke’s life that Hanson hopes people try to forget, and instead remember the man with a mic in his hand, a roar in his voice, and a heart loved by so many.

“Daniel was the little brother I never had, and I lost him last night,” he said.

We talked to a handful of Jaffke’s friends today.

Stephanie Weber said, “I am proud to call Daniel one of my friends. He was a special guy with qualities that are very hard to come by these days.”

Katelyn Renee Rouse said, “He was always there to offer support or words of encouragement during the difficult times in my life. I have really lost a piece of my soul with his passing.”

Meanwhile police are trying to track down a suspect.

If anyone has any information, if you saw something near the shooting or where his jeep was found, you’re asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS (8477).

A memorial fund in Jaffke’s name has been set up on a website. If you’d like to make a donation, click here.

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