The man who was killed in a shooting following a "traffic altercation" on Highway 169 in Plymouth Tuesday night has been identified as a youth baseball coach.
Armstrong Cooper Youth Baseball Association (ACYBA) has identified the victim as Jay Boughton, a father of two who has been the assistant coach with the 15U-AAA team for the past three years. One of his sons also plays in the league and his wife is involved as well.
Police have not officially identified Boughton. The medical examiner will release his name and cause of death in the coming days.
ACYBA said Boughton and his son were driving home from a game in Coon Rapids Tuesday night when he was shot in what Plymouth Police Chief Erik Fadden called a "truly senseless act."
According to Plymouth police, the shooting happened around 10 p.m. Tuesday south of Rockford Road. Shots were fired from a light-colored SUV at Boughton as they both traveled southbound on the highway. Fadden said there may have been a "traffic altercation" prior to the shooting, based on video evidence.
"This was one of the most tragic events I've witnessed in my 20 years of policing," Fadden said, calling it a "truly senseless act."
Investigators believe the shooting happened on the highway. After Boughton was shot, he lost control of the vehicle and traveled off the west side of the highway, through trees and a fence, crashing into an apartment complex parking lot on Lancaster Lane North.
Boughton was taken to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he later died. His son was also injured, according to ACYBA's statement, which was sent to Bring Me The News.
"There have been numerous emails shared today about Jay and what a wonderful coach, parent and husband he was. Jay was the one of those guys who would do anything for anyone at any time and always with a smile," the statement said. "The ACYBA Board extends our deepest sympathies to the Boughton family and those who knew them."
Boughton and his wife were both active in the baseball association, and prior to coaching with ACYBA, Boughton coached Crystal Little League and youth soccer. He is also survived by his daughter.
The Plymouth New Hope Little League expressed its condolences for Boughton, saying in a post on Facebook Wednesday: "PNHLL wants to share our condolences about the tragic loss of coach, Jay Boughton. Our community is at a loss for words in losing a great coach from the baseball community we are part of."
Eric Schultz, the coach of the 15U-AAA team has canceled the remainder of their season. The 16U team and the 19U Red team, which has many connections to Jay and his son, have also canceled games this week, ACYBA said.
"Jay's death is a tragedy, and we all need to take time to reflect on this loss, and to mourn the passing of a dear member of the ACYBA family," the statement said.
Police seek the public's help
Police are asking for the public's help in identifying the shooter, who they say was in a light-colored SUV, possibly a "Chevrolet Tahoe, Suburban or similar vehicle," according to Plymouth Police Department. The vehicle may also have damage to the driver's side rear bumper.
"I'm confident someone has relevant information in this case," Fadden said, noting they'd like to speak to people who were driving in the area at the time.
Anyone with information should call Captain Michael Reed at 763-509-5178.
Police have not released many details about the case, including whether the shooter was driving, citing the ongoing investigation. However, they do plan to release more video and/or better-quality photos as investigators continue to review evidence.
Note: Some of the details provided in this story are based on the police’s latest version of events, and may be subject to change.