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Longtime friends of Tyre Nichols remember skating days in Natomas

Longtime friends of Tyre Nichols remember skating days in Natomas
Longtime friends of Tyre Nichols remember skating days in Natomas 02:41

SACRAMENTO — They were all just teenagers at Regency Skate Park in Natomas: Austin Robert, Harry Silva, Ryan Wilson, and Tyre Nichols. 

"Thay's our escape from everything else in the world is to go skate hang out with all the good people, and just, it's always good vibes and that's one of the biggest things that Tyre brought to everybody," Austin Robert said.

As time went on, Jerome Neal met the group as well. 

"So we just became friends due to you know same place, same time, all the time. It's like it just naturally happened," Neal said.

As adulthood arrived, the crew moved around, but they always stayed in touch and remembered Nichols.

"I know Tyre. I know how great he was," Jerome Neal said. "I see him interacting with like almost everybody at the skate park when I'm with him. He was just well-loved."

Neal went to visit Nichols in Memphis last November.

"It had been like five years. I hit him up. He linked up. We got to the skate park. Bro, (sic) it felt like I had never missed a second with him, bro. It was exactly the same dude," he said.

While Robert had talked to Nichols on the phone just a couple of weeks ago. 

"There's this artist that just dropped a new album that Tyler and I were like super excited about, but he just dropped it on the last Friday, I think," he said.

Now, through the grief, they remember the joy Nichols brought them. 

"My parents absolutely love him as well. Ryan's parents, my parents, we always try to be there for Tyre, you know, in the time of his struggle because he was always there for us, emotionally," he said.

As many across the country were introduced to Tyre Nichols on Friday, his friends have a message about how they remember him.

"Had so many great things about him and I can't think of one bad thing about this man either," Neal said.

"He just touches anybody who gets around him," Robert said. "He's a fantastic person and that's how I really want everybody to remember him. 

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