Bishop Timon community mourns loss of 17-year-old

Paul Humphrey died in shooting over the weekend

Mike Baggerman
July 15, 2019 - 2:11 pm

Prayer service held outside Bishop Timon for 17-year-old Paul Humphrey. July 15, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The Bishop Timon community paid their respects to Paul Humphrey during a prayer service held outside the high school on Monday morning.

Humphrey, 17, was shot and killed early Saturday morning in Buffalo's Schiller Park neighborhood at Briscoe Avenue near Walden Avenue. One other boy, 15, was also hurt in the shooting and was released by the hospital this weekend. Buffalo Police are investigating the shooting and have not announced any arrests.

He was remembered fondly by the hundreds of people in attendance including his football coach, Joe Licata, and principal, James Newton.

"I can't put into words what's going on in my head right now," Licata told reporters after Monday's prayer service. "This is tragic. Paul meant a lot to this school. He meant a lot to the other students, the faculty, and staff. You saw that out here today with all these kids showing up and all these teachers and administrators present. He meant a lot to this place."

Licata, who is also the school's athletic director, said a lot of Humphrey's teammates are sad, confused, and angry about what happened. He said he met with the players the night after the shooting urging the players to be together. The team will go forward with the motto "2gether", an homage to Humphrey's No. 2 jersey with Bishop Timon.

"There's nothing in any manual to teach you how to deal with this stuff," Licata said.

Humphrey was remembered as a jokester on the team who brought players together with not just his play on the field as a linebacker, running back and slot receiver, but also his personality, especially his smile.

"His smile will always be there," he said. "We're going to put his number on our helmets this year and his initials on our jersey. He's going to be with us."

The "2gether" motto will also expand as a motto at the school during the year.

"We want to make sure we remember Paul in a positive way," Newton said. "We want to remember his smile. When I used to see him in the hallways, he was always respectful and responsible."

Humphrey would have entered his junior year at Bishop Timon. The team's first practice was scheduled for August 19 but off-season mini-camps for the team start on Tuesday. Licata said the school athletes wanted to participate in Tuesday's mini-camp in an effort to return to normal.

"We're gonna go ahead and continue on with football just as Paul would have wanted us to," Licata said.

Humphrey will be laid to rest on Friday at Forest Lawn Cemetery. At his mother Shirley's request, Humphrey will be buried with his No. 2 white football jersey. A GoFundMe page has raised more than $4,000 for the family.

"That right there is very telling and speaks to the power of his brotherhood here and the connections he made with his teammates and coaches and everyone else," an emotional Licata said. "

Counselors will be at the school for as long as necessary, according to Newton.


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