He was the kind of guy that would light up a dark room.
That’s what Paige Stuart remembers about her friend, Jake Selph.
Tragically, she can’t tell him that now. Her friend and fellow 2017 La Vernia High School graduate died Sept. 11, the victim of a shooting in south San Antonio.
According to the initial San Antonio Police Department report, officers were dispatched last Friday to a shooting in progress on West Mitchell Street in San Antonio. Upon arrival, the officers found a man with an apparent gunshot wound in the eastbound lane of the street. The shooter fled the scene, reports indicate. The victim was transported to the San Antonio Military Medical Center in critical condition, but succumbed to his injuries.
The Bexar County Medical Examiner identified him as Jacob D. Selph.
Paige is struggling to come to terms with the tragic loss of her friend.
“He was always so happy and caring,” she said of the friend who rode with her to school almost every day. “He made everybody happy. My heart hurts, knowing that I won’t be able to talk to him when I need him the most.”
That sorrow is shared by Cathe Skrobarcek of La Vernia, who remembers Jake visiting at her house when he was young.
“He was a great kid when he was over,” she said. “Great manners.”
“He was life,” Jake’s mother, Lynn Sabatino said about her only child. “He brought life into wherever he went. He was always smiling at everyone.”
She watched the early evening news last Friday, and saw a report about a shooting on San Antonio’s south side.
“I thought, ‘My heart goes out to that family,’” she said, tears choking her voice. “I didn’t know it was Jake.”
He’d been helping Lynn, who lives in Elmendorf, since her divorce. Jake left her house around 4 p.m. Sept. 11, accompanying someone he knew to meet another person.
“And he never came home,” Lynn said.
Investigators told her he was shot in the back in the middle of the street.
“He was my baby,” his mother said.
“I’m just waiting for him to walk through the door and say, ‘Gotcha!’”
She’s “blown away,” she said, by the comments on social media from friends and people who knew Jake.
“I knew everybody loved Jake,” Lynn said. “But I didn’t realize how much.
“He was a good kid. He had an infectious smile,” she said. “Jake was the one person you could always count on. He had a heart of gold.”
San Antonio police advised Sept. 14 that there were no updates on the case, but the investigation is ongoing.
Lynn is holding off planning any services for her only child.
“It’s too soon,” she said. Plus, “Jake wouldn’t want anybody to mourn for him. He didn’t like seeing people upset.”
Instead, she wants his friends to remember how he was always smiling and waving at everyone.
“He was going to grow up to be the Walmart greeter,” Lynn said. “That was our big joke. That was Jake, never without a smile.”
It’s what his friend, Paige, will cherish, too.
“Jacob, I love you very much and I can’t wait to see that smile of yours in heaven.”
An online fundraiser has been established to help Jake Selph’s family meet funeral expenses.
By Tuesday, more than $3,000 had been raised through Facebook Fundraisers.