Fort Worth

Friends of slain college baseball player remember him as ‘world-class guy’

Nolan Catholic baseball holds moment of silence for Jackson Weller

Four days after his death, Nolan Catholic held a moment of silence during its TAPPS 6A regional baseball playoff game with Fort Worth All Saints at TCU’s Lupton Stadium on Wednesday.
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Four days after his death, Nolan Catholic held a moment of silence during its TAPPS 6A regional baseball playoff game with Fort Worth All Saints at TCU’s Lupton Stadium on Wednesday.

For years, Jackson Weller’s family home in Keller was the “hangout.”

Weller’s friends were always there, some going through the front door without even knocking because everyone was family.

On Monday, Weller’s family and those friends will be at Good Shepherd Catholic Church in Colleyville to pay their respects to the University of New Mexico baseball player and former Nolan Catholic High School student who was shot and killed early Saturday outside of an Albuquerque club.

Weller’s funeral is at 1 p.m. Monday.

As of Friday, Albuquerque police had obtained an arrest warrant for a man accused of killing Weller, but he was not in custody. The suspect was identified as Darian Bashir, according to the Albuquerque Journal.

Albuquerque police responded to a shooting call about 2:15 a.m. Saturday outside of the Imbibe Nob Hill, a bar on Central Avenue.

Several people who were inside of the club told the Albuquerque Journal they heard a single gunshot outside and rushed out to see what had happened. In the street, Weller was on the ground.

Friends of Weller who were at the club told detectives Weller had been in a brief fistfight with several people before the shooting, but Bashir was not one of them, according to the arrest warrant.

UNM officials have said Weller had not been on the Lobos’ official roster because of an injury, but was still part of the program and hoped to play in the fall.

He had transferred from Gateway Community College in Phoenix.

In Tarrant County, Weller attended Nolan High School, played baseball there and graduated in 2014.

David Long of Fort Worth called Weller his first Texas friend, meeting him for the first time in 2005.

“My family moved from Tennessee to Keller in May 2005 and there were no kids in my neighborhood at that time,” Long said in a telephone interview. “Then his family moved in right across the street in July 2005. I was 10 and he was 9, and we became friends.”

jackson weller, david long.jpg
Jackson Weller (left), and his friend David Long in a 2014 photograph. Courtesy: David Long

Long and Weller stayed friends for 13 years even though Long went to public schools and Weller attended private schools.

“His home was my second home,” Long said. “It was the hangout for us.”

Weller was a magnet for friends, and he had a baseball field full of them.

Nolan High classmate Max Walker of Austin described Weller as a “picture of energy” with a “great smile.”

“He was always there for his friends,” Walker said. “I just hope he’s remembered for how great a guy he was.”

Another friend, Drake Taylor of Fort Worth, said Weller wasn’t someone who would go looking for trouble.

“But he would stand by his friends,” Taylor said.

Taylor said Weller’s job was to make sure everyone was happy.

“He was a giver,” Taylor said.

Just days before he was killed, a group text had already been sent out by Weller and friends, making plans for when the smiling Weller would be back in Tarrant County later this month.

Weller and his friends planned on spending time at Lake Bridgeport.

“That man gave more love to his friends and expected nothing in return,” Long said of his friend. “He was just a world-class guy.”

Weller’s family has requested any donations made in Weller’s honor to be given to the Children’s Cancer Fund of New Mexico.

This report contains information the Associated Press and Star-Telegram archives.

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Star-Telegram breaking news reporter Domingo Ramirez Jr. has been in journalism for more than 35 years. It’s the job he has loved from day one.


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