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'Anger, fear, sadness:' Friends remember Rocky football player killed in shooting

Chandler Stalcup
Posted at 12:37 PM, Nov 01, 2023

Students at Rocky Mountain College are struggling with the death of Chandler Stalcup, but that grief extends across the country to his hometown in Florida.

Stalcup,18,was shot and killed over the weekend after arriving at a party to pick up teammates.

For friends, like former high school teammate Shwantez Simmons, the news of his death was sickening.

"He was loved by everyone," Simmons said in a video interview from Crystal River, Florida. "He was really just an uplifting person all together. There was never a dull moment when he was around."

Simmons said Stalcup was always ready to help those in need. Simmons was the beneficiary of that compassion after his grandfather died last year.

"Chandler helped me a lot," Simmons said. "Last year, I lost my grandpa and he was right there when I got the news. He just comforted me and made sure I was okay every day."

Stalcup's high school coach, Cliff Lohrey, said he was the ideal kid to coach, always working hard at practice and doing the right things in the classroom. Lohrey said that character was evident everywhere he went.

"He's always been an outstanding character kid," Lohrey said. "His impact is going to be much greater and felt much longer than his 18 years with us."

On Saturday night, Stalcup stayed true to his identity when he got a call from a Rocky teammate who needed a ride from a party, and he didn't hesitate to help.

"He always made sure his friends were good, so when he got the call that someone needed picked up, he was always going to do it regardless," Simmons said.

That decision wound up being fatal.

“It’s hard to know that his attitude and selfless is ultimately, it’s hard to say the words, but is probably what cost him his life," Lohrey said between tears. "But also that’s a true reflection of who he was and who he is."

A devastating reality for friends and family in his hometown community thousands of miles away from Billings, and one they are still trying to understand.

"I'm kind of lost for words," Simmons said. "Every time I think about it, I just lose track of thought."

"We were heartbroken," Lohrey said. "I mean, we're sad. It's tough. We love him and we love his family."