Community comes together with soccer tournament to honor Kalamazoo shooting victim

Community comes together with soccer tournament to honor Kalamazoo shooting victim

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - This weekend the community is coming together to honor one of the victims of the Kalamazoo County shooting rampage, using the sport he loved so much.

Newschannel 3 spoke with Laurie Smith, on how you can take part in the first ever soccer tournament in honor of Tyler Smith.

Laurie tells us soccer was her son's life passion, and she hopes to carry on his legacy through the sport that he loved.

This weekend's tournament will also help raise money for a permanent memorial for the shooting victims.

Tyler was just 17 when he and his father rich were shot and killed outside Seelye Kia in February of 2016.

A total of six people died that night, and another two were critically wounded.

Laurie says the community support in the wake of the shooting rampage helped keep her going, and she's hoping for a large showing at this weekend's tournament.

While it's too late to register to play, she hopes to see the community come out to cheer on the games on Saturday and Sunday.

"It is very important to our family that the bad that took them is not what's focused on, and this tournament is another example of how we can get together, do something that Tyler loved and Rich loved to watch, we all love to watch and get together with friends and play soccer," she said.

The DBSS Sunshine Soccer Tournament will be held at River Oaks Park, in Galesburg on both Saturday and Sunday.

It's being put on by Tyler's coach, Dan Bully, with the Dan Bully Soccer School.

Money raised will be split between DBSS, a soccer scholarship in Tyler's honor and the ForeverStrong Memorial Foundation.

The foundation is working on a the permanent memorial in honor of all the victims of the shooting spree.

Friday night, there's a benefit to kick off the weekend that the entire community is invited to as well.

It's at Airway Fun Center in Portage, from 6 to 10 p.m.

It'll feature free bowling, a taco bar, and a silent auction, all to benefit the memorial for the victims.

For more information, click here.

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