Gas station employees share experience with woman facing murder charges

Local News

WILLSHIRE, Ohio. (WANE) — Business is back to normal at the Willshire RoadDog gas station but on Monday it was a different story.

“You kind of think she’s not actually going to shoot you but clearly she did shoot someone,” says Willshire RoadDog gas station employee Elizabeth Garza. “She just seemed lost and empty, and she didn’t know what she was really doing. Like I said I think she was trying to get money and get out of here.

For more than an hour, 22-year-old Valerie Hardiek wandered in and around this gas station located in the small Ohio town located between Decatur and Van Wert. At times employees say she was playing with her phone, the ATM and acted confused about where she was. Then while asking about the Wi-Fi they say she pulled out a gun and pointed it at patrons.

“I had to remind myself don’t get too excited, stay calm, keep her calm, make sure my customers were safe and they are able to get out safely, and that my other coworkers are alright,” Garza said.

What those in the gas station didn’t know was that less than 24 hours earlier there was a shooting in Fort Wayne and court documents say Hardiek was the suspect.

After more than an hour at the gas station, police arrived and took Hardiek into custody. The news of Hardiek’s arrest shook those at the gas station.

“We are so grateful, especially the guys that were getting coffee that she did point the gun, at that she let them go and that they were able to get out of here safely,” Garza said.

Hardiek is currently at the Allen County Jail. She is scheduled to appear in Van Wert County Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. for the gas station charges.

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