By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Many consider Luke Kroener a hero. The security guard, who dreamed of becoming a police officer, lost his life when he responded to a shooting earlier this year.

“From the time he was young he was just a goodhearted person no matter what it was or who you were, he was a helpful kind soul,” said Jeremiah Davison, Luke’s brother.

Luke Kroener (credit: Jeremiah Davison)

Maybe that’s why he thought he was perfect for a life in public service.

“He wanted to go out for the firefighters but I think he knew his place was going to be with the police force,” said Davison.

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Before Luke started the Denver Police Academy, he worked as a security guard in LoDo. About 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 16, Luke was working as a security guard when he heard a fight and shots fired in the area. Luke saw two men he believed were possibly related to the shooting, and pointed one of them out to responding officers. Luke detained the other man until officers could take him into custody.

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Less than two weeks later, on Sept. 28, Denver police officers responded to a report of a shooting on 15th and Market, where they located an individual suffering from a gunshot wound. Luke, again working as a security guard in the area, confronted a possible suspect in that shooting near the intersection of 14th Street and Market Street. He was shot and killed by the gunman after a physical altercation.

Luke Kroener (credit: Jeremiah Davison)

On Thursday, he was recognized by The Daniels Fund and the Denver Police Department.

Linda Childears, president & CEO of the Daniels Fund said, “This young man really deserves this.”

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Luke’s family was given the Bill Daniels Neighborhood Hero Award and his daughter received $1,000 to start a college fund. It’s a generous gift but it won’t replace what they lost.

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His family wants his story and his legacy to serve as an example for the rest of the state.

Jeremiah Davison (credit: CBS)

“You know we’re not asking everyone to be a hero and try and fight crime like my hero brother but you know if we all stepped up a little bit more and were like him this would be a better place to live,” said Davison.

Michael Abeyta is a 4th generation Coloradan and a Multimedia Journalist for CBS4. His stories can be seen on CBS4 News at 5 & 6. He is on Twitter! Follow him @AbeytaCBS4.