Fans, friends and teammates of slain Calgary Stampeder Mylan Hicks gathered at McMahon Stadium on Wednesday for a public vigil.
Hicks, 23, was gunned down at Marquee Beer Market early Sunday morning.
“My family … we’re so centered around this team and going to the games and being a part of the CFL community that it almost feels like you’re losing a member of your own family,” Stamps fan Aubrey Webber said.
“The fact that it was a murder – and it just seemed like such a random act – makes it even more devastating.”
Vigil organizer William Degenstien said he was shocked to learn of Hicks’ death
“I’m grieving just like Stampeders.”
Renee and Reggie Hicks, Mylan’s parents, were greeted at the airport on Wednesday with a hug by Calgary Stampeders general manager John Hufnagel.
Renee said the support and love from the Stampeders and fans means the world to her.
“It says a lot about what my son brought to the team whether on or off the field, so I’m grateful.”
Renee describes Mylan as a peacemaker and a big brother to his five other siblings who live in Detroit.
She thinks her son was in the wrong place at the wrong time on Sunday and was shot by a man Mylan was trying to calm down.
“They said my son gave him a hug and I would expect that of Mylan, he was a cool guy. He didn’t like altercations, not to say he wouldn’t enter into one if you bothered him, but he didn’t like it,” Renee said.
Renee and Reggie are looking forward to meeting Mylan’s teammates on Thursday.
“Most certainly want to meet with the team, I even brought the team a little package just to show them how Mylan was,” Renee said. “Mylan was a Red Wings fan as a little bitty boy and here (showing photo) is Mylan playing quarterback, quarterback sneak was what he was known for.”
Renee said Mylan always represented himself well and she’s proud of how respected he was by the Stamps organization.
“If he had something to say to you he’d say it to your face, you never had to second guess him, you always knew where he was coming from. He was loyal to a fault and I believe that’s how he lost his life,” Renee said.
His sister Jazzmine Fowlkes said police told her Hicks was trying to defuse an argument at the nightclub before he was killed.
Fowlkes said she was the first family member to get the news Hicks had been shot. She said pain shot through her body and all she could do was scream when police told her what happened.
Fowlkes said even though Hicks was six years younger than her, he often acted like a big brother.
She says Hicks was a doting uncle to her two sons and she was looking forward to him visiting family in Detroit in December.
With files from Global News