Friends of Dustin Friedland, the 30-year-old Hoboken man killed during a carjacking at the Short Hills Mall Sunday night, are expressing shock and disbelief about what happened.

Dustin J. Friedland (Facebook)

Ben Giovine, president of the Toms River Board of Education, grew up with Friedland and was in the Boy Scouts and middle school with him.

"What I recall most about Dustin is, he was just always such a go-getter and just had a great zest about him," said Giovine. "I just remember he would kind of light up a room -- he just had a great, great way about him."

Giovine said it's hard to come to grips with this happening.

"I think it makes anyone of any age come to think and try to come to terms with what occurred," he said. "It really kind of leaves me speechless and I think it leaves probably anyone else, left them speechless."

According to Giovine, Friedland was just getting started with his career and his marriage, and now those accomplishments have met a tragic end.

"I really didn't believe it was the same person," Giovine said, regarding when he first heard about the shooting. "Then when I had done some research and read some articles, it all kind of came together, and it's just something that should never happen."