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As many in the Columbus community already know Sergeant Brad Wangler was shot in the line of duty last week, but what some may not know is that he was also an assistant coach for a little league baseball team called the Mets.

His team and the parents were all impacted by the shooting.

According to head coach Matt Niedbalski, Wangler was always there to lend a helping hand to any of the kids that needed it.

"Brad is a great guy," said Niedbalski. "He strives to help everyone out. He always kept the team positive. He helped out wherever we needed it.”

When the parents found out what had happen to Wangler they wanted to do something to honor everything that he had done for the team as well as find a way to thank other law enforcement officers.

Starting on Monday the Mets started to wear blue ribbons on their hats, as well as blue wristbands. On Tuesday, one of the parents brought in a giant wooden blue cross for members of the community to sign and give to Wangler later. 

After the game Niedbalski told his team that they would be wearing the blue wristbands the rest of the season. 

"It was all just parents coming together and saying ‘we've got to do something, we got to do something to honor Brad, not only Brad but the Columbus Police Department, Platte County Sheriff, State Patrol, all those guys that are out their protecting us,’" said Niedbalski.

Wangler was released from the hospital in Omaha on Tuesday and all the coaches, players and parents will be excited to have him back when he's able to return.

Niedbalski had a message to give to Wangler after the game. 

"Come back we need you at third base Brad," said Niedbalski.  

Wangler has the whole community behind him, hoping he makes a comeback soon.  

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter at The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at


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