SPRINGFIELD, Mo. Missouri State University remembered Richard Nelson, the 18-year-old football player shot to death in his hometown of Las Vegas.
His family, teammates, friends and coaches gathered for a vigil Sunday.
Almost 500 people filled the Student Union Theatre at MSU to remember Nelson. People on campus are still in shock about his sudden death.
Family and coaches pointed out this memorial is a celebration of life.
Nelson was a freshman at Missouri State, here on a football scholarship, and is being called a hero for his actions in Las Vegas. Police say his sister was being attacked, and Nelson jumped in to protect her, and was shot and killed.
A mother and son have been arrested and charged for the shooting.
On Sunday, the entire MSU football team walked in together before the service to honor their teammate. Many of Nelson's family flew in from Las Vegas to take part.
Nelson's mother, Roxanne Bruce, tells us Richard always had a smile on his face. "He was a wonderful kid, he always made me laugh too. He was always trying to prove himself to me but he never had to. Because he was always good in my eyes. He was always the best. Everything he did, he always did it to the best."
The university started the Richard Nelson Scholarship in his honor.
The MSU Athletics Department also started a memorial fund through Great Southern Bank for Nelson's family.
Donations are accepted at any Springfield Branch.