Family, teammate remember UNM athlete fatally shot in Nob Hill
May 05, 2019 10:20 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Early Saturday morning, UNM student-athlete Jackson Weller was shot and killed in Nob Hill. Police are still searching for his killer.
Police say he was shot near Central and Richmond. Witnesses say it was after a fight.
Weller was new to the Lobo baseball team, but he’s been playing baseball for years all over the country.
Those who knew him are in total disbelief.
“His presence lit up the room. He was the most gregarious, gentle giant you'll ever meet,” said Lisa Praeger, Weller’s mom.
Jackson played in Phoenix before coming to Albuquerque. He was listed as a pitcher on the Lobo’s fall roster.
Praeger said her husband and son were best friends
"His father walked beside him on his baseball journey,” she said.
Through all the ups and downs, the strikeouts and injuries, Praeger said this was a tight-knit family – and for all of it to be crushed by gun violence is shaking so many to their core.
Including Weller's former Gateway Community College teammate Austen Martinez, who said he was "just a genuine guy."
“He was just great,” Martinez said. “He was my best friend and honestly my bother."
The two were teammates and roommates for more than three years.
“He was literally the first person I met there, the first person I shook hands with," he said.
They clicked immediately, and he said Weller always brought the energy and support to practice
“Honestly, he was kind of my hero,” he said. “He wasn't the biggest, he wasn't the strongest, didn't throw the hardest, but he always brought 100 percent. When we weren't bringing 100 percent, he gave us 10 percent to make up for it."
Weller’s mom says instead of flowers they are asking for donations to Fort Worth Shriners Hospital or UNM Children’s Cancer Center.
Updated: May 05, 2019 10:20 PM
Created: May 05, 2019 09:44 PM
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