Grieving family members, friends and fellow firefighters on Saturday said their final goodbyes to Jake Walter, an off-duty Oakland firefighter who was fatally shot in San Jose last week.
Walter, 30, was one of two off-duty firefighters shot right across from a family friendly event near Gordon Biersch Brewery. The rookie firefighter succumbed to his injuries at a hospital while the other firefighter was hospitalized in stable condition.
During the memorial service at the Scottish Rite Center, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf applauded Walter for dedicating his life to helping people.
“Take today to rededicate ourselves to that bond of family, to honor Jake's memory for what he exemplified,” said Schaff.
Friends said Walter was a baseball star at Skyline High School in Oakland and Cal State East Bay. He served as a paramedic before taking classes to become a firefighter. Walter joined the Oakland Fire Department this year.
Oliver Juinio, the person accused of shooting the firefighters, was arrested following the shooting. He made his first court appearance Tuesday, and court documents indicate investigators still don't know why he opened fire.
Police said Juinio approached a group of off-duty Oakland firefighters and shot two of them in the chest at close range. Police added that the shooting appeared to be a surprise attack.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said Juinio is a three-strikes candidate, and if convicted on all charges, he faces 170 years in prison.
Bay City News contributed to this report.