Tribute Concert Held for Murder Victim

Jennifer Krajnak, 30, was fatally shot in Lemon Grove on Jan. 3

By Monica Garske
|  Sunday, Jan 13, 2013  |  Updated 4:02 PM PDT
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A special memorial concert and fundraiser was held on Sunday to remember a local woman who was shot and killed in Lemon Grove earlier this month.

The concert kicked off at 1 p.m. at Dirk’s Niteclub located at 7662 Broadway.

It was organized by friends and loved ones of Jennifer Krajnak, a 30-year-old woman who was fatally shot and left bleeding on a street in Lemon Grove on Jan. 3.

According to homicide investigators, Krajnak had been walking home after an outing at a local bar when she was killed. She was found bleeding from the head, suffering from a gunshot wound in the 7600 block of Pacific Avenue.

Investigators later arrested suspect Casey Tschida, 32, in connection with Krajnak's murder. He was found more than a thousand miles away in Happy Valley, Ore.

Detectives said Tschida and Krajnak were acquaintances and were allegedly socializing at a bar in Lemon Grove prior to Krajnak’s murder. The two left the bar at separate times.

A short time later, Tschida allegedly approached Krajnak on the street and shot her once in the head. He then fled the state, according to investigators.

Ten days after Krajnak’s murder, friends and loved ones gathered to celebrate her life.

Friend Peter DeLuke Jr. told NBC 7 that both employees and regulars at Dirk’s Niteclub really loved Krajnak. She was a frequent patron, and, at one point, worked there as a cocktail waitress.

Sunday's tribute featured live performances from local bands.

The event also included a potluck and raffles, with all proceeds going toward Krajnak’s family. Donations were collected throughout the day to help cover funeral expenses.

Best friend Ashley Young told NBC 7 that Krajnak loved going to Dirk’s and had a lot of friends there. Young said it was the perfect place to honor her friend’s memory.

“This was just a place where she felt at home,” said Young.

Young said Krajnak’s friends and family have been supporting one another during this tough time, remembering the great memories they made with Krajnak.

Still, Young said loved ones are still in shock over the sudden way in which Krajnak was ripped from their lives.

“It was senseless, that someone took her life into their hands and stole her from us. It makes us angry. We want answers,” she added.

Young said Krajnak and her suspected killer knew each other, but were just acquaintances. She said the pair had hung out at Dirk's the night Krajnak was killed.

Other friends at the fundraiser described Krajnak as a warm, bubbly, happy person who was always finding ways to help others. They said she will be greatly missed by many.

Young said the family is incredibly grateful for the love and support the community has shown in the wake of Krajnak’s death. The ongoing support has helped them get through these difficult days.

Anyone who would like to donate toward Krajnak’s memorial fund can do so through California Coast Credit Union. The account number is 81466602.

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