Victim in Fatal Hwy 169 Shooting Identified as Crystal Youth Baseball Coach
Near the Crystal baseball fields where he used to coach, friends of Jay Boughton remember the man they suddenly lost this week.
“He was here coaching his son one day, not here the next day,” said Paul Larson, an Armstrong Cooper youth baseball coach.
“Greatest assistant coach I’ve ever had of all of the sports that I’ve coached,” said John Ripka, president of the Robbinsdale Crystal Little League. “I’ve coached football, baseball, hockey and soccer, and hands down he’s best assistant I’ve ever had.”
Ripka calls Boughton ‘the best’ because of the positive spirit he brought to all the teams he coached.
“Even when kids are down, he’s always lifting them up with spirits and keeping every kid positive,” Ripka said.
Larson, meanwhile, coached against Boughton on a number of occasions.
“He’s just a great guy. A great family guy,” Larson said. “A great coach, husband, father; just a pillar in our community for many years.”
A pillar who died under tragic circumstances.
Plymouth police say he was shot Tuesday night while driving south on Highway 169 after some sort of traffic altercation. Thursday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner stated in a news release that Boughton died from a gunshot wound to the head.
The shooter, who was in a light-colored SUV believed to be a Ford Expedition or Chevrolet Tahoe remains at large.
“I hope that somebody saw something and they can bring the shooter to justice,” Ripka said.
As police continue their investigation, the local baseball community has set up a GoFundMe page to help support Boughton’s wife and two children.
It’s a small token of appreciation for all of the joy and knowledge he brought to the dugouts in Crystal
“Just a super phenomenal person in general,” Ripka said.