TOPEKA (KSNT) — On Saturday, Feb. 5, a 19-year-old man was shot by Riley County Police after he shot and killed 21-year-old Josh Wardi in Aggieville.

KSNT News spoke with Aly Guerrero, whose son was very close with Wardi. She said they always called him “Wardi”, because that is what the back of his jersey read when he and her son played on a basketball team together.

That’s how Guerrero came to know Wardi well, as her son and him met in middle school and then moved on to play basketball together at William H. Taft High School in San Antonio, Texas. She describes the relationship her son had with Wardi as “teammates, brothers and military brothers”.

After graduating high school, Wardi ended up going into the Army, which is where he reunited with Guerrero’s son. She said that Wardi could always find a way to cheer her son up and see the glass “half-full.”

“He was just a well-rounded kid,” Guerrero said. “He was so positive, like my son would be down and he would bring him right back up again.”

Guerrero said that it isn’t just her and her son mourning the loss of Wardi, but also his family, his coaches and everyone he left behind.

“The entire Taft community is feeling the loss,” she added. “Because a lot of people knew him, and it’s very apparent from all the Twitter posts and Facebook posts that he was well-loved.”

They want to choose to remember Wardi for the wholesome man that he was by taking the time to cherish the great memories they shared with him. Most of those memories related to his time on the basketball team.

“The basketball shorts were always too big for him,” Guerrero explained. “We could never find a pair of basketball shorts that were small enough. So, he would always roll them up a ton and pull the waist down.
I mean it was just the funniest thing.”

Guerrero said that just a few weeks ago Wardi came to visit San Antonio, making sure to say “hello” to all of his former coaches at the high school – a true testament of who he was.