Community mourns loss of shooting victim, Chris Mass

TYLER (KYTX) - We're learning more about Chris Mass, the man killed in the Broadway Square Mall shooting Saturday morning.

We're told the 23-year-old is a Chapel Hill High School graduate, and once played football at Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches.

The tragic shooting death of Mass has shaken up an entire family and community that loved and respected him. CBS 19 spoke to family, friends, and former basketball coaches who say they just cannot believe Chris is gone.

Shatarius Barron takes a deep breath as she talks about a text message she got Saturday morning, saying her cousin had been shot to death at Broadway Square Mall in Tyler.

"I instantly dropped my phone when I was at work and I cried," Barron said.

She says Mass was always a ray of sunshine.

"His smile, his personality was so outgoing, down to earth," she said.

LaShaunda Dews' husband was one of two other men with mass when he died.

"He called me back and said I think Chris is dead. I said he's dead? When I came, automatically I just started screaming. and I was like, Chris is dead," Dews said.

She says Mass was a good friend, and a loving father to his two young children.

"He always smiled. He always talked to you. I mean my prayers go out to his family because he didn't deserve that! He got killed for nothing," Dews said.

Family and friends say he was a star athlete with a bright future.

Chris mass was best known for his days as an all star Chapel Hill High School basketball player, but he wasn't just known for his playing abilities, but also his coaching abilities

Kissam Intermediate School Coach Kristy Tarrant says, "He was a Ready Set Teach kid through the high school, it was a class, and he came over for half a day and worked with the kids in learning how to be a coach and on Saturdays and one night a week he volunteered doing Little Dribblers for us. He was so fun, so great."

Tarrant, overwhelmed by the loss, says her students will be devastated to hear the news.

"So many kids that had him as a basketball coach and had him as a mentor, they looked at him as a hero," she says. "He was the all star at that time and he was a hero to them."

Tarrant is one of many, who can't believe the vivacious, talented athlete is gone forever.

Barron says, "Chris Mass will truly be missed but his spirit will live on."

Support coming from the Mass' church family Saturday. They attend North Tenneha Church of Christ in Tyler.

The church sent out a Facebook post today saying: "Today we lost one of our young members to tragic gun violence. Our prayers are with his family. Rest in peace young Chris Mass."


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