CHARLOTTE -- Police say Officer Brently Vinson fired the shots that killed 43-year-old Keith Scott, sparking days of sometimes violent protests in Charlotte.

Vinson grew up in Charlotte, attending Central Church with his family.  His pastor told the congregation about the 26-year-old on Sunday.

"This awful tragedy in our city has hit so close to home," said Pastor Loran Livingston.  "The officer involved, who did his sworn duty, is a member of our church, who grew up in our church and you will not find a finer young man.  His parents are here this morning. They are my friends, and for 25 years I suppose, they have been a part of this church."

Vinson played football at Ardrey Kell High School and later Liberty University, where he studied criminal justice.  His teammates defended him on social media after the shooting, saying "You won't find a teammate who won't vouch for his character" and "he a great guy and a great cop."

Vinson joined the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in 2014, following in his father's footsteps.

Police say Vinson has faced no disciplinary actions during his time with the force.

He does not appear to have any type of criminal record.

Vinson is now on paid administrative leave, which is department protocol.  His friends say he and his family are leaning on their faith to get through this time.