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Brooklyn Park teen killed in firework accident ID'd as Jack Kocur

Friends, family remember teen killed in fireworks accident
Friends, family remember teen killed in fireworks accident 02:01

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. -- Friends and teammates are remembering a teenager who died in a fireworks accident this weekend. Police say Jack Kocur died after handling a firework that is not legal in the state.

WCCO spoke with Kocur's coach and friends about how they'll remember the man who always wore #9.

"Jack actually gave me that hockey stick," John Langerman said. He and Kocur go way back. "I got some flowers for him. I've known Jack since I was in kindergarten."

Langerman laid Jack's old hockey stick and the flowers down against a tree in the Brooklyn Park park where the accident happened. Just week's after graduating from Totino-Grace together, he's here to say goodbye.

"He was just an amazing guy," said Langerman.

Police say Kocur was at the Willows of Aspen Park in Brooklyn Park with another person. The friend called for help around 1:25 a.m. on July 4 and tried to save Kocur but couldn't. Police say Kocur was using a firework unsafely when it went off in his hand. 

"I was just kind of praying for about an hour and a half that it wasn't my guy," said Brennan Blake, Kovur's baseball teammate and classmate.

But it was their teammate, who they would never see again. They said they would never forget him, either. 

"Jack was probably the most carefree guy of all time," said Blake. "He was a very popular kid. Everyone knew him; everybody loved him."

"He was such a kind kid just a kind young man with a real soft smile and a real warm heart," said Mike Smith, the Totino-Grace Activities Director and Head Baseball Coach. 

Smith said Kocur was bound for UMD.

"I think it was kind of wide open for him. It was kind of that you graduate, you cross the finish line, and then the while board is clean again and then you kind of start the next adventure," said Smith.

But the next adventure was cut short. Still, a legacy will live on with his friends forever.

"Don't take anything for granted. Because you never know what day is your last out here," said classmate Lucas Reiff.

"It's definitely an eye opener definitely an eye opener. It puts things into perspective," said Blake.

Authorities say they're also looking at alcohol as a possible factor into the accident. It's a tragic reminder to leave fireworks for the professionals.

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