LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – As LMPD searches for whoever shot and killed a Waggener High School student Saturday night, his football coach and team are mourning his loss.

Tyson Gibbs, 19, was shot several times on 38th Street in the Shawnee neighborhood. Gibbs died from those injuries. LMPD homicide detectives are still searching for clues, suspects and motives.

The head football coach at Waggener High School, Jordan Johnson, said the loss of Gibbs is very painful for everyone who knew him.

“He was a very soft-spoken kid,” Johnson said. “He had a huge heart and cared deeply about people.”

Johnson said he fought for Gibbs to be accepted into Waggener when he moved back to the area. Gibbs was a defensive tackle for his junior and senior year. Johnson said the teen was working through difficult circumstances and was trying to make a positive impact.

“In Louisville youth football, everybody knew who Tyson Gibbs was,” Johnson said. “And he was constantly trying to live up to those expectations while battling some hardships in his life.”

A mental health counselor at the school said Gibbs lost a sister to gun violence and had, himself, been shot before. Johnson said the football team was a huge support system, and Gibbs took on a role as a natural leader.

“When he said something, the kids listened,” Johnson said. “And they followed him. Not out of fear, but out of ‘this dude knows what he’s talking about here.’”

Gibbs was a high school senior last year but didn’t graduate. The school’s principal said Gibbs was not about to quit.

“He had some struggles after football season and a lot of attendance issues the second half of the semester.” said Sarah Hitchings, the Waggener High School Principal. “So he did not accumulate the credits to graduate. We had a plan in place for Tyson. We were expecting him to return.”

Hitchings believes Gibbs would have completed his credits by September. Although he would’ve been ineligible to play on the football team, he was expected to come back and help in some capacity.

“We want justice for Tyson and for his mother and for the family,” Johnson said.

Whenever Gibbs needed to, Johnson said Gibbs stayed over at his home and played with his children. He said Gibbs’ character was full of dedication and kindness.

The team intends to continue its anti-violence campaigns, and Johnson hopes their mission brings justice to their teammate.

If you have any information that can help LMPD solve this case, call 574-LMPD. You can remain anonymous.

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