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SYLVAN GROVE, Kansas – The murder of 21-year-old Keith Ancell Monday has sent a shockwave through two communities in Lincoln County.
Ancell grew up in Sylvan Grove about 15 miles west of Lincoln where he was shot and killed Monday morning.
The town of about 500 people is visibly shaken by the loss of one of their own.
English teacher Linda Haring, of the Sylvan Lucas Unified High School where Ancell graduated from in 2010, described him as being a hard-working student with an infectious smile.
While excelling in the classroom, he did the same when it came to sports taking part in track and basketball.
“He did a good job coming off the bench and doing whatever he could to help the team win and pushed other guys, pushed the starters to make them better,” said Jude Stecklein, USD 299 Superintendent.
Haring says in such a tight-knit community that losing one of your own is painful.
“We’re just a big family here, everybody looks out for one each other so it hits us hard when one of our family is taken from us,” said Haring.
The school says students have made cards to send to the Ancell family and are planning to hold a vigil possibly some time next week.