BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Keion Carpenter, a former NFL safety who graduated from Woodlawn High School and founded The Carpenter House, has died.
His impact on the field was obvious, but even whens when the cameras were gone, Keion Carpenter’s presence was felt the most.
“He always had a passion for wanting to give back to others,” says Brian Scrivens, Carpenter’s High School Football Coach at Woodlawn High School.
A heart of gold that made him one of Baltimore’s most beloved, but on Wednesday night, the crushing news started to surface. A family spokesperson tells WJZ carpenter was on vacation with his family in Miami when he fell and hit his head.
After being in a coma for 24 hours, Carpenter died Thursday morning, hitting the country and social media hard.
Virginia Tech football tweeted Wednesday night that Carpenter “suffered a traumatic event” during a run and was in a coma.
“We’re all in a certain extent in a denial,” says Scriven.
The 39-year-old starred in football at Woodlawn High School and went on to play at Virginia Tech, followed by six years in the NFL with the Bills and Falcons.
But in a city ravaged by bullets and violence, Carpenter spent life after football giving back to kids in Baltimore, through his foundation the Carpenter House and the Shutdown Academy Program.
Former NFL player and Baltimore native Aaron Maybin says there’s no replacing Keion Carpenter and what he did for Charm City.
“You don’t understand the gravity of what something like that means to a city unfortunately until you lose it,” says Aaron Maybin, Shutdown Academy Program.
This is a sentiment Carpenter’s high school coach Brian Scriven echoes.
“The level of competitiveness that he had was like no other and I think that’s what elevated him to another level,” says Scriven.
A legacy for the 39-year-old that will be carried on forever.
“A lot of people say if you touch one life in your course of life, you’ve done something special, he’s had the opportunity to touch thousands”
According to the Carpenter House website, the program has impacted more than 3,000 families. Carpenter leaves behind a wife and four children. A family spokesperson says no funeral arrangements have been made yet.