Mahki Buckly was a safety at American International College. Police said he was shot and killed in Hartford, Conn. Western Mass News spoke exclusively with AIC's head football coach.

SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM)--One local college is mourning the loss of a football player who died Monday.

Mahki Buckly was a safety at American International College. Police said he was shot and killed in Hartford, Conn. Western Mass News spoke exclusively with AIC's head football coach.

“He was such a great kid, Makhi was just a great person, he had a great smile, it crushed me, it really did,” American International College head football coach Kriz Kulzer said.

Heartbreaking news for the American International College football team after learning their freshman safety Makhi Buckly was shot and killed in Hartford, Conn. on Monday.

"There was a lot of emotion, one obviously you're heart is broken. I was confused, didn't understand why was it him, why was this happening, and my heart just goes out to his family, his friends and obviously his teammates here and the whole community," Kulzer said.

Three men have been arrested in connection with the shooting, however, none have been charged with homicide.

Kulzer told Western Mass news once he heard the news, he immediately checked in with the team.

"I communicated with our coaches, I said ‘hey, make sure you're checking in on our guys, ask them how they're doing,’ I had to send out an email with our counseling and everything like that because this has been a tough year," Kulzer said.

Kulzer said there will be no one to replace a player and person like Makhi but when this team comes out here on the field, they will be playing for him this season.

"You just can't take any moment for granted and you give 100% on everything you have because you don't know," Kulzer said.

Having lost two players in less than a year, the other being 19-year-old Michael Raiford, a cornerback for the team who died in a drag-racing car crash. Kulzer says the support at AIC is everything.

"It's a big reason why I've stayed here, is the people. I'm a graduate here, everyone has always treated me as family. And I think that's the big thing we've really tried to preach and embed to this team. This is not just a football team, this is your family," Kulzer said.

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