Deadly shooting in Lynchburg shocks community, mentor calls victim full of potential

Tyler Harris, 25, died of multiple gunshot wounds

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Those who knew 25-year-old Tyler Harris say he had a unique way of making people laugh, especially those he met for the first time.

 "Tyler about 24, 25 years old (he) had every reason to be living. Full of just explosive potential. (It was like) an overwhelming breath being knock out of chest," Walter Virgil Jr. said.

Virgil was Harris' coach and mentor when he was a student at Virginia University of Lynchburg in 2012.
"He was one of the guys we were bringing in from West Virginia. Tyler was a decorated young man. I believe his senior year he was awarded the Gatorade Offensive Player of the year," Virgil said.

 At 5 p.m. Wednesday Lynchburg police were called to a home on 17th Street. They found Harris had been shot multiple times. He died at the hospital. A short time later, police say, 35-year-old Asa Hogue, turned himself in.

Community leaders said the work to stop the violence still continues in Diamond Hill, even after the ENOUGH campaign ended on Wednesday. 

"We're asking for ideas and any support in anyway and we will continue to in one way or another to be in the neighborhood even through the winter," James Camm, co-founder of ENOUGH, said.

As for Virgil, who had plans to meet with Harris next week, he will never get to hear what good news Harris wanted to share with him.

But now he can only reflect on their last phone call as memories. 

"And so for him to finally arrive to a place where he was excited about what he was doing meant a lot to me because it allowed me to recognized that he was figuring some things out," Virgil said.

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