A Salvation Army worker in Cleveland, Ohio was shot dead on Saturday morning with a Bible in hand, while he was reportedly sharing the Gospel with his killer.
Jared Plesec, 21, who had worked at the Salvation Army in Collinwood for several years, had been shot in the head by 27-year-old William Jones at the Euclid Beach Villa apartment complex on E 156th Street.
After the shooting, Jones reportedly fled the scene and went on a crime spree that included four carjackings. During the crime spree, Jones had also shot a 65-year-old woman who survived, according to the police. The shooter has since been arrested and is now being held in jail on a $5 million bond on an aggravated murder charge.
Prosecutors noted that Plesec was in his full Salvation Army uniform and had a Bible in his hands when he was shot. The 21-year-old was on his way to stand at a Red Kettle to collect donations, according to Maj. Lurlene Johnson, who supervises all of the Salvation Army's Northeast Ohio operations.
On Sunday, the Salvation Army released a statement confirming that Plesec was an employee of the organization and that he had volunteered to work at the Red Kettle on his day off.
"In the past two days, hundreds of individuals, mostly youth, have flocked to The Salvation Army in Collinwood to pay tribute to Jared's life. They all had one thing in common, Jared loved them, he cared for them and he changed their lives," the statement read, according to WKYC.
"Today our we feel great loss that Jared was taken from us too soon. Yet we rejoice that he is in heaven with the loving Heavenly Father he told so many people about," it continued.
Salvation Army Maj. Daniel Alverio, who was Plesec's direct supervisor, noted that Plesec's mother had passed away about 18 months ago, and he had delivered his mother's eulogy.
Despite his personal grief, the 21-year-old still spent countless hours providing support to troubled teens by helping them deal with bullies and challenging those who joined street gangs to better themselves, Alverio noted.
Alverio also recounted that Plesec even took calls at 2 a.m. and helped convince a teen who ran away from home to return in the middle of the night. "He lived his whole life telling people that there was hope out there," he recalled.
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