Community mourns the loss of Tipton teenager
TIPTON - Members of the community in Tipton are mourning the loss of a 18-year-old Robert Ashbaugh who was shot and killed during horseplay Saturday night. The Highway Patrol initially reported Ashbaugh was 19.
The Tipton Police Department responded to a residence on Railroad Avenue around 11:20 p.m. Saturday after receiving a phone call someone was shot. That was when officers found Ashbaugh dead from a gunshot wound.
KOMU 8 News spoke with many members of the community Monday, and many said they too were in shock by what happened.
Many said Ashbaugh was a talented athlete at Calvary Lutheran High School in Jefferson City. According to the National Collegiate Scouting Association, Ashbaugh ran track and field for the school.
Robert Ashbaugh's uncle Joshua Ashbaugh spoke with KOMU 8 News over the phone Monday night:
"Robert was well liked by everyone that knew him. He was well respected... He was looking forward to his senior year. He worked hard academically to make sure he was eligible for the upcoming track and field season. He was just a very talented young quarterback in the making.
"He wasn't an angel any more than any teenager is an angel. He had his troubles. He had his struggles like every teenager. But everyone I know liked him.
"We are as a family devastated. This is as you would expect completely surreal. And we are clinging to each other and grieving deeply. And we are grateful for the thoughts and prayers of many communities that have already poured out to us."
Travis Clark, a good friend of Ashbaugh, said just last week he was hanging out with Ashbaugh.
"We had a very good close friendship and did a lot of stuff together. We always hung out when we got the chance and when I needed him he was there for me," Clark said.
Clark said the community of more than 2,000 people is also shaken up by it.
"I say they were all sad and kind of depressed about it, but this is just something that happened and we kinda got to move on about it because he wouldn't want us to be depressed all of our life and live sad all the time,' Clark said.
Clark said he was a true and hard-working friend.
"He was always joyful, always trying to get people to laugh. I mean he was always there for somebody when you needed him," Clark said.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Ashbaugh's body was taken to University Hospital Saturday night and is awaiting an autopsy.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control is investigating.
[Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect comments from Ashbaugh's family. It has also been updated to correct Ashbaugh's age.]