A youth football community is mourning the loss of a man who made a difference in the lives of numerous young athletes in Ypsilanti.
Keifor Johnson, 26, was murdered on Sunday, Oct. 14 at a home in Superior Township.
His obituary says he joined the Junior Braves Football Association when he was 8 years old. Then as an adult, he decided to give back and quickly became an admired and respected head coach for their freshman team.
Action News spoke to parents of team members who witnessed his impact.
“In an environment where we are short on male positive role models, he was that for thirty-plus boys, ages seven to nine,” said Travis Faulkner, the father of a player on the team.
Faulkner says the team learned together of the tragedy.
“The board made the decision, which I think was the right decision, to tell the boys all together. It was one of the most heartbreaking scenes I have ever seen,” Faulkner said.
“We’re still trying to figure out exactly what happened,” said Derrick Jackson of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office. “It doesn’t appear to be a random shooting.”
The Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office says Johnson was at a home in the 9000 block of Panama in Superior Township when there was an argument.
Someone shot and killed the youth football coach. Investigators say they are trying to find out if the shooter acted alone or with one other person. On Monday, one person faced arraignment.
“The person we arrested was a Marlin Talley. He is 19 years old from Ypsi city, currently in the Washtenaw County Jail, denied bond,” Jackson said.
Moving forward, the team is working to remember Johnson and honor him on and off the field.
“He made you want to be better,” Faulkner said.