When Tyon Woods was killed Saturday night just before midnight, he was leaving the annual family block party at Hanna Homestead Park at East Lewis and Chute streets.
His cousin was with him, according to Paulette Nellems, also a cousin of Woods' and a member of the East Allen County Schools board.
The last time she saw her cousin was at New Haven High School's 2016 graduation ceremony. She wasn't able to be at Saturday's gathering.
“I just hugged that man a year ago when he graduated,” Nellems said. “It's been devastating.”
According to The Journal Gazette archives, Woods signed in 2016 to play football at Davenport University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. But Woods was not listed on the Davenport roster.
Woods joined the New Haven football team his senior year after transferring from Northrop.
In June 2015, Woods and his football teammates from Athletes With Purpose won the IMG 7-on-7 national tournament in the club division with a 30-2 victory in Bradenton, Florida, over Cam Newton Blue from Georgia.
AWP is a local sports training facility owned by Mike Ledo.
“I will forever be inspired by your passion, loyalty and authentic spirit. Thank you for the memories! Love Coach Ledo,” Ledo wrote on his Facebook page Sunday.
Woods was a wide receiver at New Haven. In his senior year he was named to Associated Press Class 4A all-atate honorable mention and was first team All-Northeast Eight.
Fort Wayne police said they went to the area of 1200 Lillie Street, not far from Hanna Homestead Park, on reports of shooting Saturday. When officers arrived, they found a man near the intersection of Lewis and Lillie streets suffering from apparent gunshot wounds and then heard there was a second shooting victim in a vehicle accident in the 1400 block of Lewis Street.
The second victim was Woods, who drove the vehicle westbound, crashing into a parked vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The Allen County coroner ruled Monday that Woods died of multiple gunshot wounds. He is the 18th homicide victim this year in Allen County.
No suspects have been arrested.
“Every time I've seen Tyon, he's always been a sweet, kind of quiet young man, always respectful to me, very handsome, a quiet-type guy,” Nellems said. “This is devastating for my family.”