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‘His smile lit up a room’: Coach, teammate remember 16-year-old killed in northeast Columbus shooting

Police say Rycheous McKinney was killed in a shooting Thursday night. Police are still looking for the suspects.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Number 23. That was Rycheous McKinney's number on the football team.

Columbus City Schools confirms he was a student at East High School where grief counselors were on hand Friday.

"His main focus was football,” said Ty Taylor, a student at East High School who also played sports with McKinney.

Taylor said he was not only Rycheous McKinney's teammate, but his friend.

"When I found out...it was hurtful,” he said. “Because he was like a little brother.”

Columbus Police got the call just before 9 p.m. Thursday night to a report of a shooting on Willamont Avenue near Nelson Road.

Police said when they got there, McKinney was found in the back of the location with a gunshot wound.

He was taken to a local hospital where he later died.

"Rycheous, all the kids loved him. His smile lit up a room,” said Michael Bell, the football coach at East High School

Bell said the sophomore had just joined the team -- and he had a lot of potential.

“He did everything 100% You know, like, he ran every drill he ran on, he worked hard,” he said. “He really loved football."

Police are searching for a suspect or suspects. This is the city's 174th homicide this year.

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