BERKELEY, Calif. (KRON) — Dylan Jemtegaard and his father Shawn had a special relationship.
The Cal Golden Bears sophomore offensive lineman remembers his dad schooling him on the basketball court, taking him to Seattle Mariners games and throwing meat on the grill to bulk him up before he went off to college. Now, all of those activities will have to exist as just memories.
Shawn Jemtegaard was shot and killed in Lacey, Washington on April 22. Yahoo News reported that the shooting stemmed from a road rage incident that began when Aaron Patrick Costello, 48, cut off Shawn, 42, in traffic.
Witnesses said that a verbal altercation turned physical, and Costello admitted that he shot Jemtegaard with a pistol, per Yahoo. Dylan’s 13-year-old brother was in the car when it happened.
Costello was arrested and held on a $500,000 bail. He is claiming self-defense, saying Shawn pushed him before the shooting.
Before his tragic death, Shawn was a father to six kids and an active member of the Yelm, Washington community. Dylan remembers him coaching his youth football team — getting him started with the sport that would earn him a full-ride scholarship to one of the most prestigious universities in the country.
Dylan describes his father as someone who was hyper-competitive but still made time to care for his kids. He has fond memories of the family eating hot dogs and swimming at local lakes. After long days of work, Shawm would have the energy to take his children to sports practice.
“Whatever he needed to do to keep those kids involved,” said Andrew West, whose sister Chelsea was married to Shawn.
Shawn would go to work at 6 a.m. and return at 6 or 7 p.m. He was a construction worker for all of his adult life, most recently working as a project manager for a sheet metal company, Dylan says. He worked his way into management later in life, but his younger years involved blue-collar work and swinging hammers.
“He’s always been hands-on, working his rear end off to put dinner on the table,” Dylan said.
While Shawn was a big sports fan, his family says he made sure his kids focused on academics as well. In addition to being ranked the No. 15 football prospect from Washington in his class by ESPN, he posted a 4.0 GPA. As a construction worker, Shawn passed down an interest in engineering to his son, leading him to pursue a mechanical engineering degree at Cal.
Dylan’s recruitment started to pick up around his sophomore and junior years of high school. He made the varsity team as a sophomore, grew to 6-foot-4, and eventually chose the Bears over offers from Boise State, San Diego State, and a host of other schools.
Now in Berkeley, Dylan has leaned on his teammates and coaches as he deals with the grief of losing his father.
“The team and coaches are really the only people that you have time to get to know in college,” he said. “Them having my back and all the support that they’ve showed me means the world to me.”
“What I’ve really gathered from Cal is that they truly are a family to Dylan,” West said. “That football group, that’s his friends, that’s his people and they want to be part of his life.”
Shawn’s death has left Dylan and his five younger siblings without a father. Dylan now feels an increased responsibility to be a provider.
“It just makes me feel like I’m in a position that I need to continue to provide for my family… to be the most successful that they can be,” Dylan said. “Having five younger siblings, they need a role model that can show them the ropes and how to do things right and ultimately live a successful life.”
Even so, the family needs help. West went to the grocery store to feed Shawn’s kids, and he says $200 worth of groceries nearly vanished in two days. The family set up a GoFundMe with a goal of $250,000. You can donate to that HERE.