CANISTEO — Hundreds of people lined the streets of Canisteo Monday evening to pay respects to a fallen New York State Trooper.
A gunman shot and killed Trooper Nicholas Clark while the trooper responded to a call Monday morning in the Town of Erwin in Steuben County.
Police say Steven Kiley, an assistant school principal in the Bradford school district, shot Trooper Clark and then took his own life.
"He was the type of kid every coach would want to have," said Mickey Woodworth, his former wrestling coach in the Canisteo-Greenwood school district.
He was among the dozens of people who lined the streets of Canisteo, waiting for Clark's return.
The retired coach fought back tears as he talked about the local hero.
“I loved the kid," he said. "He was my boy ... all of them are. They’re great kids. We brought them up the right way. He shouldn’t have died like this.”
Trooper Clark joined the New York State Police in 2015, but in his hometown, he’s remembered as a state wrestling champion.
He also excelled in football in high school and at Alfred University. He tried out for the Buffalo Bills.
"He made an impression on everybody. He was my first state champ," said Woodworth. "We worked hard and he’s my first state champ. Just can’t believe he’s gone.”
People fought back tears and recounted stories about him as they waited for a motorcade of law enforcement. Then it fell silent when they drove through the village to the funeral home that will prepare Trooper Clark's body.
“He was a different breed ... athletically he was loaded," said Ann Hosmer, retired athletic director. Hosmer says her own sons looked up to Clark.
“I feel bad for the family. My heart goes out to them — it’s going to be a really, really hard time — and all the kids who came up with him. There’s a bond there that will never be broken.”
News 10NBC is working to learn more about funeral arrangements for Trooper Clark.