ROY, Utah -- Dozens came together Sunday night to celebrate the life of a South Ogden man who died in a shooting on Friday.
Cyle VanKomen and Kevin Nelson died after what police are calling a home invasion robbery and shooting. A third person who lived with VanKomen is fighting for his life in the ICU.
Those who gathered to remember his life had so many words to say about Cyle. Each person shared their own unique story of knowing him.
“He's so genuine and loved everybody,” said one of his close friends, Carlos.
Carlos’ brother, Channing, said Cyle helped take care him when his parents weren’t around.
“Beautiful smile. It was always on his face,” said Matt Huber, another friend.
For Huber, Cyle supported his family during some rough times—even coming out to do house work so they wouldn’t have to hire it out.
“His bear hugs, he gave the best hugs,” Karrah Owen said, reminiscing about Cyle’s best qualities.
She said Cyle was the first person to befriend her when she moved to Utah from California.
“Very kind heart, always willing to help others,” she said.
When she and her husband recently bought a house, he was the first to come over and congratulate her. The crowd that gathered to share these memories on Sunday cheered as they released balloons to celebrate and pay tribute to Cyle’s life.
Cyle’s memory, also left so many in tears.
“I died inside,” Carlos said, choking up and wiping tears away as he spoke. “A part of me died because, he wasn't my friend--he was my brother. I loved him with all my heart.”
His friends say Cyle was always one to treat everyone like family, and help out in any way he could.
Carlos smiled as he talked about Cyle’s loud voice, and his outgoing personality. He said Cyle took him in when Carlos needed place to stay, provided him with food and would give Carlos his last $20 if Carlos needed it.
“He was a hero to so many people,” Cyle’s uncle, Randy Mecham said.
Mecham and his wife, Debbie, said Cyle loved to play with his cousins and served as a role model to them. They said he loved to fish, hunt and play hockey.
While he always put others before himself, they said his family always came first.
“He couldn't ever stop talking about his family, about his brothers and his little princess sister, and the love he had for his mom and dad,” Mecham said.
Cyle’s mother was supposed to be celebrating her birthday on Sunday. Instead, she was left grieving for her son and remembering his life. His group of friends sang to her as the vigil came to a close, to show support.
The crowd also shared drinks, played pool and hung out at Rainbow Saloon in Roy—the place Cyle often used to hang out to have a beer. It was a fitting way to pay tribute and share stories of the man who showed nothing but love for everyone he knew.
“I'd give up every cent I have just to hear his laugh one last time,” Channing said.
“Me too,” Carlos echoed, before breaking out in tears and adding, “I love you, Cyle.”