LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. - Friends and family describe 22-year-old Zachary Hunt as quiet, caring and hardworking. The Lee’s Summit man was murdered last week in Wichita.
It happened during his shift at the Dollar General Store in a rough part of town. Hunt’s best friend, Danny Merdian spoke with 41 Action News Tuesday about how the two first met in fourth grade and why their friendship was so special.
“We did not interact with a whole lot of people," Merdian said. "We were not nearly as outgoing, and I think that is part of the reason we got along so well."
Merdian said he was grateful he found a good friend and their friendship grew into adulthood.
“He moved around to a number of different houses, but no matter how far away he ended up getting we always stayed in touch pretty well,” Merdian said.
A couple of years ago, Hunt moved to Wichita and enjoyed working at the Dollar General Store. His co-workers said the tragic news spread quickly.
“We have had many customers up here today talking about how much he was loved -- crying, left a memorial for him here, reaching out -- he was just a very beloved person,” said Dollar Store Manager Ty Flanagan.
Friday night, Zachary Hunt and a 79-year-old customer, who was in the store buying candy for his grandchildren, were shot to death near the front door.
Police arrested 19-year-old Marquis Marshall for the crime. Merdian said he received a phone call from Hunt’s family with the horrible news.
“It took a while to register," Merdian said. "It was at least a few minutes after I was off the phone before it really hit me."
Police are looking for a motive, but it has been tough. The suspect is not cooperating with police.
Friends said Hunt deserved better.
“There is some anger," Danny's father, Robert, said. "It is such a senseless act, not only to Zach, but the other man who was there as well."
His sister recently told him she was expecting and friends said Hunt was looking forward to being an uncle.
The family will hold a private funeral in Blue Springs, Mo.
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