DENVER (CBS4) – 23-year-old Tre Williams died after being shot early Sunday morning in Denver. He was hit along with two of his brothers during an incident that police are still investigating near Market Street and 21st Streets.  As police search for answers, relatives are grieving his loss.

Tré Williams (credit: Mile High Sting/Facebook)

“He was a ray of sunshine, he was goofy.  He had a great spirit, he always made people laugh,” Kenny Newell, a cousin said.

Newell told CBS4 his kids were No. 1 in his life.

“He has five kids and this is going to be a huge loss for them because they are younger,” Newell explained.

Williams was a son, brother, father, and among many things, a passionate athlete.

“We were in our tryouts and I had him going up against our receivers and he was in their face, he held his own and he was showing us at that point that he would be a dynamic important piece of our team,” Vonne Davis said.

Davis coached Williams for the Mile High Sting Football Team.  It’s part of a league that aims to help athletes condition with hopes of playing for higher levels of competition.

“He had a lot of fire and passion behind him, he was an explosive player, he was a great teammate. The guys loved being around him, we always rallied around him,” Davis recalled.

Williams often played cornerback on the field, but off it, he was a strong cheerleader to his family, and role model.

“I will remember him pulling my son aside, and really talking football because my son is into football, and really giving him pointers on the field and off the field and how you carry yourself,” Newell added.

Many who knew him believed he had great potential, now he’ll be cherished as a champion in their hearts.

Police and his family are asking that anyone with information regarding what happened during the shooting to come forward with details to help the investigation.

Reporting can be done anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

Coach Davis plans to retire jersey No. 23 in Williams’ honor.

Jacqueline Quynh