ROCHESTER, N.Y. — On Thursday morning, 28-year-old Jacob Wims was shot and killed while in his car on Mead Street off North Clinton Avenue.
Dozens of people posted on social media reflecting on their time with Wims and mourning his loss.
"They took the life of the wrong person here. The wrong person," Kala Gause, a former coach of Wims, said.
Gause coached Wims when he was on the junior varsity football team as a freshman at John Marshall High School.
He says Wims was humble, but quickly stood out as a star player, and his sophomore year, he was a running back on the varsity team. Gause says he was a leader on and off the field.
"People looked up to him... He wasn't going to get involved. They were like, 'well, if Jacob doesn't do it or if Jacob does it then I'm going to do it,' so he was always an inspiration," Gause said.
Wims went on to play at Alfred State College and majored in sports management. Wims was also a father, and Gause says he was with his son the last time they spoke.
"Last time I saw him, probably at the barbershop, he had his son with him...he said, 'you know coach, this is the next one you're going to be training soon.' He was a great person, he became a great athlete, represented the school, Marshall, and now he's a great dad. And that's why the impact is so great, his loss," Gause added.
Gause moved from Rochester to Atlanta in the fall, but he continues to be a mentor for many of the young men he coached back at John Marshall High School and at U-Prep. He and others in the football community were heartbroken to hear of his death, and that he doesn’t understand the staggering violence in the city.
"This is just a cowardly thing to do. He's going to be a statistic of this high rate of crime that's happening in Rochester, New York and this sort of seals his legacy. That's sad. It shouldn't be like that," he said.
He has a message for young people in Rochester.
"Listen: don't sit back and be quiet. This is not a time for hush. If you know something, say something. Because if you don't say something, this blood is on your hands too," Gause said.
Right now, Rochester Police say they do not have any suspects in custody. Police ask that if you did see anything, to call 911.