Youth football coach identified as victim in fatal east side shooting

Buffalo

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The man shot and killed while trying to break up a fight that he noticed after his youth football team’s game concluded was a beloved and respected coach who had an impact far beyond the field.

Police say 36-year-old Norzell Aldridge of Cheektowaga died at the hospital after a shooting just after 7 p.m. Saturday on Koons Avenue and Sycamore Street, on Buffalo’s east side.

A source close to the football organization tells News 4 Aldridge had been stepping in to protect young people during a fight when he was shot in the chest. The shooting happened not far from Emerson Park, where Aldridge’s team had just played the first game of their season.

“Some of the leagues got together right away and said, we need to make sure people know this was a stand up guy who was really helping our young people,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen.

Pridgen says many parents and community members have reached out to say what a great man Aldridge was.

“He was one that a lot of parents would really depend on, especially single moms, to really help with their boys,” Pridgen said, who said parents are working to line up counselors to help the boys.

A 20-year-old Buffalo man who was also involved in the shooting and has not been identified was treated at the hospital and released.

According to Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo, the scene became chaotic quickly after the shots were fired, and police on scene were unable to find the suspect.

“Buffalo Police has a detail set up at those football games, and our detail was there and at the even when this occurred,” Rinaldo said. “Our officers did hear the shots when they were fired. They did run in the direction of the shots, but in the ensuing chaos they were unable to locate a suspect at that time.”

Police are asking anyone with information to text or call the Confidential Tip Line at 716-847-2255.

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