COLE HARBOUR, N.S. -- Quintez Downey’s former basketball coach and youth advocate worker says he is shocked to hear the 20-year-old North Preston man has been killed.

"He'd be the last person that I would think would have his life taken," said Darryl Johnson, a long-time basketball coach and recent candidate for Halifax Regional Council from Cole Harbour.

Johnson learned of the news yesterday. 

"When I listened to the voicemail, I was totally floored. I had to listen to it a third time just to make sure I was hearing what I was hearing correctly," he said, adding that it was a very tough day and a tough night.

Johnson describes Downey as a very likeable kid with a positive attitude and great work ethic on the basketball court and beyond.

Johnson said Downey was studying at Crandall University in Moncton, and when he was 16 and 17, Johnson coached him on a youth development basketball team that travelled to Quebec and the U.S. for tournaments. Johnson used to call him "Q." 

"I know he talked to me about attending university and hopefully having that opportunity. Even at the age of 16, 17 years old he was talking about that. He was talking about a career in fashion. He wanted to be a model. He had those great looks and that great attitude. So I could see that," Johnson said."I'm still shocked by it, because when you have a rapport with a kid and you see those qualities that he has, you expect that person, you envision that person to be successful in life and here he is now with his life snuffed out from him."

RCMP said Downey died of his injuries after being shot near Clarence Street in North Preston early Wednesday morning. Police have called his death a homicide but so far, no one has been arrested.

The same morning, police responded to reports of shots being fired near Alex Lane in North Preston. Police said it's not known whether the two incidents are related.

"Here we have another young man of ours that we're losing to violence," Johnson said. "It's sad. I'm frustrated. The community is frustrated. I know his family is grieving. It's a tough thing to accept."

Investigators are asking anyone with information to call Halifax District RCMP at 902-490-5020.