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Family, friends mourn CSU athlete killed in weekend shooting

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 6:01 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 8:38 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A freshman football player’s shooting death Sunday left family, friends and the Charleston Southern University reeling.

Authorities said Lorvens Florestal died early Sunday morning in a shooting in West Ashley.

Forestal was getting ready to start the next chapter of his life at CSU as a walk-on defensive end for the football team, a team he never got to play a game with because his life was abruptly cut short.

Florestal’s high school football coach, Jamael Stewart, said he was shocked by the news.

“I mean it felt like my heart dropped out of me,” Stewart said.

Stewart coached Florestal for three years at his alma mater, Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida. Stewart said he learned the news from CSU Coach T.J. Jackson, who also coached at Atlantic High.

Stewart said the teen’s goal was to get a college degree for free to make his mom proud.

“He would miss practice and he would say, ‘Coach, I gotta go to tutoring,’” Stewart said. “And I’m like, ‘Tutoring? Dude you have straight As. Why you are you going to tutoring?’ And he was like, ‘I just need the extra work.’ He put in extra work in everything he participated in.”

Stewart says the young football player even lead his high school team to victory in the state championship last year.

“That’s why he was our co-defensive player of the year, his senior year,” he said. “That was something, we had never won a state title at our high school. But that year, it was made for him. He had a big big season last year.”

It all came to an end Sunday morning when Charleston police say they were called to 511 Risher Street just before 3 a.m. for a disturbance. Police say they were at the end of the street when they heard gunshots. Upon arriving to the home they say they found three people with gunshot wounds, including Florestal.

CSU officials say the freshman was an innocent bystander when the shooting happened. The Charleston County Coroner’s Office confirmed Florestal died at the scene of the shooting.

Police said the other two victims were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. According to Stewart, it wasn’t even a week ago when Florestal stopped by his high school to say goodbye to his teachers and coaches before he headed to Charleston for college. Little did they know, it would be goodbye forever.

His former coach reminisced on the kind of guy he was.

“Before this tragedy happened, he was assisting a young lady on campus, retrieving her car from a ditch. This was moments before his life was taken away from him. That’s the type of person he was. He’s that type of kid, where as a dad, you could say that’s the type of kid I want my daughter to date. Or to go to prom with. That was him,” Stewart said.

“Lorvens was a kid that no matter what someone else was going through or what he was going through, if it was his last of anything, he’d give it to you,” Jackson said in a statement. “He was always caring for others.”

Stewart says moving forward, he is focusing on supporting Lorvens’ former teammates through this tragedy.

There is still no word on who is responsible for this shooting. Police are investigating.

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