Local coach has connection to Chattanooga Shooter - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Local coach has connection to Chattanooga Shooter

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 A man in Eastern Iowa knew the alleged shooter very well.

As you know, wrestling is a grueling sport, that creates a bond between athlete and coach.

Abdulazeez's high school coach now leads the team at Waterloo West.

Coach Kevin Emily said when he heard the news, he was shocked.

He says he would never have guessed his former athlete Mohammed Abdulazeez was capable of such a malicious act."

"He was humbe," said Emily, "He was nice, he listened, he didn't cause problems or controversy. That's the thing that is kind of crazy about this."

It was on the mat that Emily and Abdulazeez cultivated a relationship that went much further than athletics.

Although Abdulazeez had to leave practice from time to time for prayer, Emily says he was never outspoken about his Muslim religion. 

"So whatever the beliefs in his faith  were," said Emily, "Yes, I would say he was strong in that, but he didn't try to project that on anyone."

He was strong in faith and family.

Abdulazeez's parents attended most of his wrestling matches.

"His parents were always around him," said Emily, "always supportive of him, very friendly, outgoing, they were a normal family."

Emily was never aware of any trouble at home; not even arguments typical of a teenager and their parents.

Emily does not know what caused such a change in his former athlete, but he hopes that question can be answered, in order to prevent future incidents like this.

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