COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Many are mourning the loss of Tim Watkins who was found shot and killed Sunday near Mt. Herman after he went out on a bike ride Thursday and never came home.
Watkins was an avid cyclist. Several people who knew him from the community, and even some that didn't came out to Red Rock Canyon Open Space to honor his life doing what he loved, riding through the trails.
"I know he'd want everyone here riding their bike being happy, he was just a happy go lucky guy," organizer of the memorial ride, Kalan Beisel said.
"It was what he did it was such a big part of his life," long time friend Russell Asleson said.
Asleson knew and rode with Watkins for about 25 years. He carries a piece Watkins made for him on his handlebars all the time.
"You know I think about him every time I put it on there and every time I ride my bike. You know? Even before all this happened," Asleson said.
Crews had been searching for Watkins after he didn't return home Thursday from a bike ride. He was found shot and killed Sunday near Mt. Herman. THe El Paso County Sheriff's Office elevated his case to a homicide Monday.
"I just heard this news yesterday and I was just shocked. It just floored me," State representative Michael Merrifield said.
Watkins first showed Merrifield around the trails in Colorado Springs. The pair had lost touch for a few years, but reconnected this week in a bike shop. They were supposed to go riding this weekend.
"Such a great guy. Humble and always willing to share his knowledge," Merrifield said.
The idea that one of their fellow cyclists went out to do what he loved and was killed doing it is disconcerting.
"I ride my bike alone a lot and in the same place," Asleson said. "We just really need to know what happened here."
"Just hope they catch who this was and it's an incredible, incredible loss," Merrifield said.
The sheriff's office hasn't released any suspect information. They are asking the community to stay vigilant and to report anything suspicious.