Ezra Engle now faces growing up without her dad.
The North Vernon teen said her life will never be the same.
“My heart is shattered in a million pieces,” she said. “He was my hero.”
Gilbert Engle, 42, of Seymour, was shot and killed early Thursday morning at his downtown apartment. He had been shot once and died at the scene, Seymour Police Chief Bill Abbott said.
Story continues below gallery
Police said Daniel L. Combs, 32, is believed to have pulled the trigger and his girlfriend, Jessica L. Jarrell, 21, was with him. A third person, Andrea M. Hollin, 25, fled with the two with cash and drugs, police said. The three, all from North Vernon, have since been caught by police.
Ezra Engle, 14, said she is trying to focus on the good person she knew her dad to be.
“My dad was the kind of guy that could put everyone in a good mood. He had so many good people that loved him,” she said.
One of the qualities she loved most about him was he was never a false friend and was true to who he was, she said.
“He was 100 percent real, and he would tell you the truth even if you didn’t want to hear it,” she said.
Velma Jean Armstrong of North Vernon said she knew Gilbert Engle through her husband and friends.
“He was a great dad and friend. Outgoing and funny. Always smiled and loved his kids very much,” she said. “He was the perfect friend and touched everyone’s hearts.”
Gilbert Engle was the type of person who could be counted on, she added.
“Gilbert was a good man and loved his family and friends. He wasn’t a bad person at all,” she said. “He helped everyone and was always there when you needed him.”
Ezra’s uncle, Bob Griffith of Crothersville, said Gilbert Engle was a devoted dad to his two children and will be greatly missed.
“He loved spending time outdoors, camping with his family and friends,” Griffith said.
Born in Missouri, Gilbert Engle had lived most of his life in Seymour and North Vernon, where he had friends and family, Ezra Engle said.
“He was the best dad. He was the best friend of some and family to many,” she said. “He just loved life and loved the people he was surrounded with.”
Unable to pick one favorite memory of her father, Ezra Engle said she will love and cherish every second she got to see and talk to him.
“From just sitting at home watching movies together to going to Holiday World, it was all the best,” she said. “It couldn’t have been better.”
She said she is struggling with the loss of her father but is trying to stay strong for her younger brother and her mom.
“I cried for hours last night,” she said Friday morning. “We have stuck side-by-side since I was born. We have been by each other through thick and thin, and if he was going through something, I was there or talking to him on the phone, and he would do the same for me. Now that he’s gone, I’m lost.”