Friends and Family Remember Ben Graessle

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

Ronnie Conley is remembering a close friend.

"I always saw him smiling. If you saw him coming, you would see a smile on his face," Conley said.

Ben Graessle's smile faded on Sunday morning after he was shot.

"Part of my family is gone too. I'm not his father but part of my family is gone too," he said.

Conley Taught Ben how to play baseball.

"You see them running around. They're so young. You think they're gonna watch their children play ball," he said.

He coached Ben when he was five years old until he started at Spotswood High School.

But Conley said their relationship went beyond his coaching years.

"He would call me coach. No matter who he was with. He would come up and tell you that he missed playing ball and the things the way they used to be," he said.

Conley said Ben was not only a star on the baseball and football field.

"He was just a good person. He would help you. If you needed help," Conley said.

That's something, his co-worker Chris Harper noticed about Ben.

"I remember him being one of the first guys to call for getting your shifts covered. He was super helpful," he said.

Harper said Ben he worked with Ben at Jimmy John's since the end of the summer.

"He wasn't here long and he already made friends with a lot of people," Harper said.

But he said he can't believe someone hurt him.

"Having seen him about two weeks ago and knowing he's not the kind of guy to be in that kind of trouble. Mixing him up with violence, it's just way out of his personality," he said.

A personality that charmed many.

"Just a good person . The world is definitely worse without him," Conley said.

Ben's mom couldn't talk on camera but she said she wanted everyone to know that Ben was a great person.

She said he was her only child and now his dreams have been cut short.

She said she will miss seeing him graduate from college, get married or even have children.

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