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Coach of Westminster shooting victim: 'He was liked by everybody'

Posted at 9:48 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-16 00:55:21-04

BOULDER, Colo. -- It was one of the hardest coaching days of his life when Manu Ghaffari had to tell his water polo team that one of their teammates was the one shot and killed in Westminster.

“We called all the players together and announced what had happened,” he said. “A lot of our players were in tears.”

Ghaffari had coached the 13-year-old boy for four years as a part of the Rocky Mountain Neptunes. The young man was a standout, according to his coach, who played on the local team as well as a regional team as an attacker. Denver7 is not identifying the teen out of respect for the family.

“These players that come and start playing at age 8, 9, 10, and stay with us several years it’s almost like raising your children,” he said while holding back tears.

Just a little more than 24 hours later, the water polo coach is still struggling to understand how road rage could have led to what happened.

“It’s beyond anyone’s understanding. How could someone, a young man, shoot a woman and small children for something that small?” he questioned.

Ghaffari says the entire water polo team is planning on attending the funeral once arrangements are made. They will then dedicate the remainder of the season to their teammate.