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Vegas victim with Co. Springs ties remembered fondly - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Vegas victim with Co. Springs ties remembered fondly

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"He was a complete goofball."  That assessment of Christopher Roybal, meant as a compliment, sums up the good-natured demeanor of the Navy combat veteran with Colorado Springs ties who died after being shot in the Las Vegas massacre.  Roybal, 28, was in Las Vegas celebrating his upcoming 29th birthday when he became separated from his mother during the shooting.  Her panic and grief are chronicled on her Facebook profile, which has now received viral attention.

Roybal, who served in Afghanistan, was general manager at Crunch Fitness near North Academy Boulevard and Vickers Drive in Colorado Springs, a promotion received after working at multiple locations in his native California.  "He was always asking how my day was going," said Crunch member Angela Gearhart.  "And then when I was leaving, he told me to have a great day, asked how my workout went.  Always a very, very nice guy."  Roybal lived in Denver, the former home of extended relative Ryan Chiaverini, currently a Chicago television personality.  "He served our country, he served in Afghanistan, he signed up to face military weapons," Chiaverini said, "but he never signed up for that as a civilian, and he finds himself in the line of fire as a civilian.  It pains me to think about that."

Chiaverini says Roybal was jovial and generous.  "The last time I saw him, he had a hat on that I really liked, and I said, 'Hey, I really like your hat.'  And he took it right off his head and he gave it to me," Chiaverini explained.  "I said, 'No, I don't want to keep it.'  And he said, 'No, keep it.'  I still have that hat.  I looked at it this morning and that was just the kind of guy he was."

A Go Fund Me account set up to help Roybal's family with expenses earned more than double its initial donation goal of $15,000 in less than one day Tuesday.  "I had seen him a week before and he greeted me when I came into the gym," Gearhart said.  "Just so, so sad to hear about it."

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