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Friend of 15-year-old who was shot and killed remembers him fondly

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21)- A childhood friend of a 15-year-old who was shot and killed in alley Wednesday says he was funny, brave and a sweet guy.

"He was a big goofball, I think that's why we clicked because we both have a good sense of humor and we just love to crack jokes and laugh all the time," Ethan said.

The two met when Ethan moved to Eric McDonnell's neighborhood when he was in 6th grade. He says the became fast friends, keeping each other company after school while their parents were at work.

"When we got home from school we would go to my grandmas house, and we would make something to eat because both of our parents wouldn't be home. We used to get change out of the couches so we could go to the pop shop and get a bag of chips," Ethan said.

He talked about many other memories, smiling as he'd think about it. Like the time a man gave them 40 dollars for helping him out and they spent it all on McDonald's.

Now thinking about the night his friend was taken away from him...its devasting.

"I was in shock really, I didn't believe at first. I was texting everybody I knew that knew him, all of our friends our brothers, I was just like is Eric okay and then I found out it was true and I didn't know what to believe," Ethan said.

That night, police say they arrived to the 2800 block of Euclid Avenue. They say they found McDonnell in alley suffering from gun shot wounds and he was rushed to the hospital but didn't survive. Police say McDonnell was beaten and shot in the alley.

Friday, police arrested the man they believe is responsible for the crime. Ethan says he's glad someone is arrested but its not going to bring back his close friend.

"He was like a brother to me, I will never be close with someone like him again," Ethan said.

Arielle Cadet

Arielle Cadet joined WPTA in August 2019. The Atlanta, Georgia native graduated from the University of Missouri and serves as a Multimedia Journalist for WPTA. Feel free to connect with her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, or shoot her an email at

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