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Popular youth football coach shot to death in Ballard is the brother of Budda Baker

SEATTLE -- A man shot to death in Ballard over the weekend has been identified as 29-year-old Robert Baker, the older brother of Budda Baker, a well-known former UW football player.

Seattle police detectives were back on the scene on Monday going in and out of businesses near where the victim was found shot. Detectives asked questions and also analyzed what appeared to be bullet holes that pierced a brewery.

The victim was shot in the chest on 17th Avenue NW near some popular bars.

Police say a report of a shooting came in around 1:45 a.m. Sunday in the 4900 block of Leary Ave NW.

People who knew Robert say he was a well-liked youth football coach and they are shocked at what happened.

“Robert was a great coach with our kids he helped with our rookies, the smallest kids last year, all the kids seem to respond to him, a lot of positive energy from him,” Wolverine Junior Football President Greg Pardee said.

Budda Baker, now with the Arizona Cardinals, released this statement.

“On behalf of the Baker family we want to thank everyone for their generous outpouring of love, support, and prayers during this extremely difficult time at the passing of our dearly beloved son, brother and husband, Robert baker. We are ask that you respect our family’s privacy in this difficult time.”

“Oh my God I hope they find peace somehow in this tragedy,11 it’s just horrible,” Pardee said.

Pardee says Robert was quiet, determined and passionate. Someone who always had the best interest in mind for the kids he coached. He also called Robert a devoted father and proud brother.

“He was very proud of his little brother who wouldn’t be,” Pardee said.

On Monday Seattle police said they had no new information they could publicly release.

People like Ryan Magnusson who live nearby wonder if the shooting was random or targeted.

“Hopefully, it wasn’t random,” Magnusson said.

Some say Ballard overall is safe but not the spot where the shooting happened.

“It’s just not a safe area to walk at night,” Sarah Bennett said.

Bennett said the bars late at night draws big crowds but other times the area is less traveled with several empty buildings around.

Others who knew Robert told Q13 News that he had served prison time for a crime in the past. But they say he turned his life around and they couldn’t imagine anyone who would want to hurt the popular youth coach.