Local football team loses third player to gun violence - KPTV - FOX 12

Local football team loses third player to gun violence

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

It's a sad reality for Portland's Inner City Shine football team: Three players lost to gun violence in just four years. The latest was 19-year-old Paul Krekeler, killed earlier this week.

"I'm still kind of in disbelief," Inner City Shine quarterback and owner David Littleton said. "I can't believe he's not here."

"We all meshed, like immediately, he was like another one of our little brothers," teammate Josh Driver said.

Krekeler was a star running back for the minor league team, and the latest victim of gun violence in Southeast Portland. He was shot near 57th and Harold on Tuesday night.

So far, police haven't come up with a motive.

"It's just not something that we like to go through," Driver said. "It definitely hurts every time."

The players have said goodbye to three of their own in just four short years. The latest life was cut short a month before he got to live his dream of competing for a national football title in Las Vegas.

"We've got to just carry his spirit down there and we've got to win and bring it back home for him," Littleton said.

The team will still play in the championship, like they said Krekeler would want.

"Without Paul we wouldn't be where we're at today. We owe it all to him," Driver said. "We're going to go down to Vegas and bring it back for him and hopefully make him proud."

Krekeler's funeral is set for Sunday, on what would have been his 20th birthday.

To donate for funeral expenses, visit: http://www.gofundme.com/c0qgy0

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