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NY football coach shot dead trying to break up post-game fight, police could not prevent chaos, grab suspect

Norzell Aldridge, 36, died in hospital after the incident as community remembered him as a "role model" who was "really helping young people."
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

BUFFALO, NEW YORK: A youth football coach was shot dead on August 31 after he tried to break up a fight that ensued after he had just finished coaching the season's opening game in Emerson Park. 

Norzell Aldridge, 36, died in the hospital after a shooting took place just after 7 p.m. near the football field behind the Harvey Austin School. After noticing a fight break out in the region after the conclusion of his game, he stepped in to "protect young people" when he got fatally shot in the chest. 

Apart from the coach, a 20-year-old unidentified man was shot. He was treated at a nearby hospital and later released. The authorities were present at the scene when the incident took place but could not prevent the shooting. As the situation became quicky chaotic, following the gunshots, the police were also unable to get hold of the suspect.


“Buffalo Police has a detail set up at those football games, and our detail was there and at the even when this occurred,” Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo told WIVB. “Our officers did hear the shots when they were fired. They did run in the direction of the shots, but in the ensuing chaos they were unable to locate a suspect at that time.”

Since his passing, a number of members of the Buffalo community have spoken out in praise of the deceased, remembering him as a role model of the youth. 

“Some of the leagues got together right away and said, we need to make sure people know this was a stand-up guy who was really helping our young people,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen.


“He was one that a lot of parents would really depend on, especially single moms, to really help with their boys,” Pridgen added.

He said that parents were working to arrange for counselors to help the boys deal with the tragic loss. "He had dedicated this portion of his life to young people," Pridgen told WKBW

Homicide detectives were seen interviewing potential witnesses at the scene. "It's unfortunate that these things happen, it happened after the game," Rinaldo said. "We do have a police presence at those games because it does bring a number of people together, sometimes there has been in the past some known gang members that attend these games."