Fallen Metro officer remembered - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Fallen Metro officer remembered

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Officer David Vanbuskirk, 36, died on July 22, 2013 during a routine rescue of a hiker at Mt. Charleston. (LVMPD) Officer David Vanbuskirk, 36, died on July 22, 2013 during a routine rescue of a hiker at Mt. Charleston. (LVMPD)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Several members of the Sergio Penha's Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Academy on Spring Mountain Road shared several memories of David Vanbuskirk.

"It's hard. It's hard to believe because he was such an amazing guy, in shape, young. Never expected," said Rafael Penha, a friend.

Penha has known Vanbuskirk for 10 years. He says the 36-year-old Metro officer recently earned a black belt. Penha describes him as a gentle fighter but tough.

"He was a tough guy. He had this move that he would let you pass his guard. As soon as you thought you were comfortable and nice he would sweep you and you would end up on bottom. That was a move that he always got on me," said Penha.

Many friends say those fighting moves will be missed on the mat after the news of Vanbuskirk's death quickly spread.

"We are all feeling it. You can see all the people that showed up today, how many lives he touched. He died a very selfless death. Very Christlike death. He risked his life to ensure the safety of someone else," said Steve Cantwell, a friend and former MMA fighter.

Wednesday's "Open Mat" session had many folks training with each other, while having one thing on their mind.

"He would keep his cool, give you a real hard fight, break a sweat with you, shake your hand afterwards. He was a great guy," added Cantwell.

As some shared a few memories about their friend, others had a harder time. 

"I'm going to have to choose more words. He was one in a million," added Penha.

Police said donations can be made to any Wells Fargo bank under account No. 6102.

The account was established by the Injured Police Officers Fund. For more information on the fund, you can visit helplasvegascops.com.

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