Community searches for answers after local musician killed in Olean St. shooting

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Family and friends of James Hallenbeck are still coming to terms with his untimely death. Hallenbeck was shot and killed on Aug. 21 while walking near his home on Olean Street.

As police search for the gunman, those who knew him well are also searching for answers of their own. News10NBC talked to one friend who is keeping Hallenbeck’s memory alive.

Funeral services were held Monday for Hallenbeck who was a local musician. We talked to one of his bandmates who tells us it’s tough to know that he’s no longer among us.

“I would love for whoever did this to understand the impact that they’ve had on hundreds of people,” said Matt Berry who feels the pain of his loss. His longtime friend and bandmate James Hallenbeck was shot and killed here on Olean Street just over a week ago. A memorial was set up near the spot where he was found. Berry says Hallenbeck was the most caring guy he’s ever met.

“He always went out of his way to give other people, to provide for other people, to make other people know he was there for them,” said Berry.

Not much is known of what led up to the shooting, but Berry says Hallenbeck loved going for late-night walks near his home.

“He always loved his midnight walks. He lived nearby the Genesee River so he would take bike rides, and walk down there late at night all the time to just clear his head. He always loved gazing at the night sky,” said Berry.

Hallenbeck who played keyboard was known for being a musician on the local heavy metal scene. One with many talents.

“He played accordion. He played ocarina, he sang. He was able to write guitar music without knowledge of how to play guitar. His musicianship was just so diverse, and so well rounded.”

Monday, family and friends attended Hallenbeck’s funeral.

“It was so amazing to have so many people from so many different circles come together, and celebrate James,” said Berry. He continued, “It was great to see so many people both familiar, and new to me just showing love and hugging each other, and embracing each other, and that’s a lot of what we’ve all learned together through this tragedy.”

News10NBC reached out to Rochester Police for any updates on this fatal shooting. We were told, “Unfortunately no updates at this time.”