SAN DIEGO — Friends and family continue to mourn the death of Justice Boldin, 28. He was working as a valet for ACE Parking at the Pendry Hotel when a man shot and killed him without provocation on Thursday.
“He was literally the best dude I’ve ever met. His joy for life, was truly infectious -- one of the coolest dudes, just one of those kinds of people that could make a friend out of anybody,” said Reece Taylor, Boldin’s best friend.
Taylor met Boldin playing baseball at Evangel University in Springfield, Mo. They transferred to the school at the same time and became fast friends who bonded over their faith, dedication to the sport and interest in hunting.
“The first day of practice, we just hit it off and it was one of those things where we immediately knew that we’re going to be best friends from then on,” said Taylor.
Boldin made his way to San Diego after school and started working recently as a valet. He told Taylor a few days before he was killed that he wanted to earn money to pay for his dream of becoming an airline pilot.
He was also excited about becoming an uncle about six weeks earlier.
“He told me he was the happiest and most optimistic he’s ever been in his life,” recalled Taylor. “He felt like he was really where he wanted to be and had a true passion to learn about becoming a pilot. He was really excited about that and he felt like he was taking the next step in life.”
Police identified Boldin’s suspected shooter as Travis Sarreshteh, 32. He was detained by bystanders and arrested after shooting and wounding four other people a block north. His motive remains unknown.
“It’s going to be a long and tough road living without him, but me and my wife said we feel at peace knowing that he’s always going to be with us. He’s always going to be watching over us. The same with his family. He’s always going to be watching over his family hard as well,” said Taylor.
Boldin is survived by his mother, sister and dog, Bellie, who he named after his favorite baseball player, L.A. Dodgers’ first baseman Cody Bellinger.
Taylor said Boldin’s father died suddenly a few years ago.
“There’s peace knowing that he’s with his dad again. He missed his dad dearly. He was looking forward to being with him,” said Taylor. “I know that this wasn’t the way he wanted to happen, but I know that they’re in Heaven right now and he is certainly, certainly enjoying being with his dad again.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for Boldin's family.
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