Lloyd Chavez IV was a sinewy, all-state rugby player all four years of high school. He was fierce, competitive, and if you got in his way, coach Dave Farmer said, he’d run you right over.
“But after the game, he was your best friend,” Farmer said.
The rugby community on Friday mourned the loss of one of their brightest, most affable stars after learning Chavez was shot and killed Wednesday night outside his Centennial home.
And, in a tragic turn of events, the shooting comes just two weeks after Chavez’s father was lauded as a hero after rescuing an injured woman from her car on Interstate 70 after a runaway semitrailer slammed into stopped traffic and caused a deadly, multi-car crash.
Arapahoe County sheriff’s investigators on Friday morning arrested a 17-year-old male for second-degree murder in connection with Chavez’s killing, authorities said on Twitter. Authorities have not released details about the case because the suspect is a juvenile.
The suspect, who has not been named, had been detained a day earlier in connection with the shooting.
Chavez, a senior who was supposed to graduate in two weeks from Cherokee Trail High School, was shot outside his home at 9:38 p.m. Wednesday in the 21500 block of East Powers Lane in Centennial, police said.
He was taken to a hospital, where he later died of his injuries.
Farmer, the coach who runs the Aurora Saracens Rugby program, has schooled Chavez in the sport since the boy was 10 years old, and, before that, he played with Chavez’s father and grandfather.
“He was just a great kid from a great family,” Farmer said.
Chavez was a spectacular player, Farmer said, but it was his personality off the field that endeared to him to players throughout metro Denver’s tight-knit rugby community.
“I think his greatest trait was he had a great desire and ability to make people feel happy,” Farmer said. “When hanging around with Lloyd, you just felt good.”
While his talent separated him from others on the field, Farmer said, Chavez never acted like a star.
It was a trait he shared with his father, Lloyd Chavez III. After carrying the injured woman away from her car that was destroyed in a fiery April 27 pileup, the elder Chavez did not want to be identified or interviewed by the media about his heroics. He made no mention of his actions on social media or otherwise, Farmer said.
Cherokee Trail mourned Chavez’s loss, which happened during a tragic week for metro-area high schools. On Tuesday, two teenage students at STEM School Highlands Ranch brought handguns to the school, killing one classmate and injuring eight other students.
In a letter to school families this week, Cherokee Trail principal Jean Incitti said the school is providing mental health counselors for students and staff. Incitti included school district resources for coping with loss, death and grief as well as mental health resources in the district.
A celebration of life for Chavez will be held at 4 p.m., May 18 at Cook Park, 7100 Cherry Creek Drive, Denver.
This homicide marks the fourth fatal shooting of teens in the southeastern Aurora suburbs this year.
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