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'Truly A Senseless Act': Youth Baseball Coach Jay Boughton Killed In Shooting On Hwy. 169

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A beloved father and youth baseball coach is dead after an apparent road rage incident in the west metro on Tuesday night.

Plymouth Police say 56-year-old Jay Boughton and his son were driving south on Highway 169 when there was an altercation between him and another driver. Then, the other driver opened fire on Boughton.

Jay Boughton
Jay Boughton (credit: friend of Boughton)

"I have to say, this was one of the most tragic events that I've witnessed in my 20 years of policing," Plymouth Chief of Police and Safety Director Erik Fadden said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon. "It was a really, truly a senseless act that resulted in the loss of a human life."

Boughton, from Crystal, was identified by the Armstrong Cooper Youth Baseball Association Board. The board said Boughton was on his way home from coaching a 15U-AAA team game when he was killed.

"The senselessness of this act is beyond understanding," the board said. "Jay was ... one of those guys who would do anything for anyone at any time and always with a smile."

plymouth highway shooting
(credit: Plymouth Police Department)

The suddenness of Boughton being gone was almost too much at times for one of his close family friends to talk about.

"Jay was just your typical all-American boy," the friend said. "He grew up as a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout."

The friend says Boughton's son, who was hurt in the crash, will be all right. Boughton had coached the boy since tee-ball.

"He was a good father, good family man," the friend said. "He was involved, a very involved dad. His wife and kids, they're just going to be hurting without him."

Boughton is survived by his wife, 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter.

The Plymouth Police Department says that shooting happened at about 10 p.m. on the highway's southbound lanes, just south of the Rockford Road intersection. When Boughton was shot, he lost control of the vehicle and crashed into cars in a nearby apartment complex parking lot. His son gave him CPR until paramedics arrived and took him to North Memorial Health hospital, where he later died. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office says he died from a gunshot wound to the head.

A GoFundMe page was created for Boughton's family which raised around $21,000 in only 15 hours.

Crime Stoppers of Minnesota announced a $1,000 reward on Friday for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.

Plymouth Road Rage Shooting
(credit: MnDOT)

The suspect vehicle, which was captured on video, is believed to be a light-colored SUV, possibly a Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban, or a Ford Expedition. The vehicle is said to have damage on the driver's side rear bumper. Plymouth police are asking for the public's help in locating the car.

Anyone with information on the vehicle or the shooting is asked to call police at 763-509-5178. The shooting remains under investigation.

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