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DENVER — Fallen Adams County sheriff’s deputy Heath Gumm started working for the sheriff’s office in 2012 and leaves behind a wife and family. He was killed in the line of duty on Wednesday night.

Members of Gumm’s family, friends and a former teacher at Mullen High School say Gumm was a kind man.

“We’re in shock,” Gumm’s former English teacher at Mullen Sean Keefe said.

“We hear so much today about bad and corrupt officers of the law, racism and excessive force,” Gumm’s cousin Ryan Carpenter said in a statement.

“Heath was the antithesis of all of that. He was the kind of man you wanted out there protecting our streets. He was kind, fair, funny and friendly to everyone.

“He was a an amazing husband, son, brother, friend and officer. Our family is thankful for the outpouring of love for him from metro Denver and beyond.”​

People at Gumm’s former high school echoed the family’s statement.

​“Easy to talk to, approachable,” Keefe said. “People are stunned, they’re just stunned.”

Flags are at half-staff at Mullen as the Mustangs honor one of their own.

“He was well thought of as a young man, and he was well thought of as a man,” Keefe said, “He was someone people gravitated towards, and he was someone who people could count on.”

At Mullen, they say you “enter to learn and leave to serve.”

“It doesn’t surprise any of us that he went into law enforcement,” Keefe said. “We honor him, and we’re going to miss him a lot.”

Gumm was also a member of the Fighting Nemos Hockey Club.

“It is with great sadness that we inform our fans and followers of the loss of defenseman Heath Gumm #17 who gave his life in service to his community,” the team said in a Facebook post.

“No words can describe how we are all feeling. Heath was not just a teammate, he was a friend, he was family, he was our brother. Deputy Gumm played hockey like he lived his life, full of fun, passion, toughness, and with a little bit of goofiness mixed in.

“We plan to honor Deputy Gumm in an upcoming Nemos game. Plans will be announced on the Fighting Nemos Facebook page once they are finalized.”

A family member said Gumm wanted to be in the military but for various reasons couldn’t and that’s why he got into law enforcement.