The news was too much for those who may have known Joe McKnight best.
Elmo Lee says McKnight called him stepdad.
"I love that kid from day one, I loved him," Lee said. "I raised him from 6. I've been in his life from that point on, and I just talked to him, I just talked to him, just talked to him. He was looking forward to his Pro Day in April. I just had a conversation with the man."
But, the former NFL player and John Curtis standout was shot and killed Thursday afternoon in Terrytown.
His family says he was a good man and a father. We're told he leaves behind a son.
"I just want everyone to know this was not a troubled kid, young man - the boy was just trying to make it back in the NFL, that's all he wanted to do," Lee said. "That was his whole dream. From 6 years old I've been knowing him, from 6, and for this to happen is just senseless, and it has to stop somewhere. It has to stop."
Now, instead of watching McKnight accomplish his dream, his family has to say goodbye.
"You just took a young man's life that's trying to get back to accomplish his dream over a road rage or something just that senseless, and I mean, he didn't deserve that, he really didn't deserve that at all," Lee said. "He was a big part of this community, he was a big part of the community in Kenner where he came from. He played a big part at John Curtis, and he did everything he was supposed to do, you know? He did everything you're supposed to do."
His stepfather tells us McKnight recently got a call from the Minnesota Vikings. He says they were going to pick him up.