The man who died after injuries received in a shooting in downtown Spokane was former Spokane Empire player Carl Sims, former Empire coach Adam Shackleford confirmed.
The Spokane County Medical Examiner's Office has not yet released the identity of the victim, so the Spokane Police Department could not confirm. But friends, family and fans are already posting touching tributes to Sims, who was a beloved teammate and friend.
Shackleford, though, knew him first as an athlete.
“I've competed against Carl for a long time. He was in some other cities when I coached. The opportunity to get him on our team in 2016, for me, was a no-brainer. He was a veteran, I heard a lot of good things about him” Shackleford said.
It quickly became clear to Shackleford and his team that Sims was as good to have on their side off the field as he was on it.
“Just a great locker room guy, just didn't know any boundaries to friendship, really got along with everybody,” Shackleford said.
In his athletic career, Sims had made friends in many places.
“Well, the thing with Carl is you know no matter where we were on the road, he had played so long that he had family in every town he had friends in every town- he had a following,” Shackleford said. “A lot of people lost a good friend, I’ve lost a guy that I coached and admired and it's a tough day,” he said.
Spokane Police have not confirmed much information about the shooting- other than to say it is still an active investigation.