MISSOULA – He was the glue that bonded his family; a man who could make friends with strangers and a father who loved his little girl.
Friends are remembering 28-year-old Shelley Hays, the victim in last week’s deadly shooting rampage in Missoula, a crime that killed him and wounded three other people including a Montana Highway Patrol trooper.
But even as they try to understand his death, they’re remembering his life as a man who never did anything halfway, a man who worked hard as a mechanic and eventually opened his own auto repair business.
He loved fixing and riding fast motorcycles and trucks. and he loved his 5-year-old daughter Cloey.
Shelley Hays grew up in Missoula and cast a wide net of friends and colleagues who can’t believe he’s gone..leaving behind a lifetime of memories.
It’s been difficult for childhood friend Nick Cogar who knows his friend was special.
“He had this personality where he could make a friend out of anybody. You know, somebody’s giving him that long stare like not sure, and he’d go over there and just make the situation better,” Cogar recalled.
“He’d create a conversation and all of a sudden by the time it was over, another friend — you know what I mean? He was always social like that. It didn’t matter where we went he was always making friends.”
Click here to help the family of Shelley Hayes.
Reporting by Jill Valley for MTN News
Keep the focus on the victims: Wade Palmer, Shelley Hayes, Casey Blanchard, Julie Blanchard. We won't be sharing his photo; we won't be writing his name. We encourage you to join us in sharing photos of the victims & uplifting stories about them. #mtnews pic.twitter.com/HPRCqLrY4r
— Montana Highway Patrol (@MTHwyPatrol) March 19, 2019