AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — There was an emotional funeral service Tuesday for the Uber driver killed in a random shooting in Denver last week.

Goitom Hagos came to the Denver metro years ago to join his family. He was driving for the rideshare company to support his family when he was killed in the shooting on 17th Avenue in City Park West.

The funeral service took place at the Hamere Noah Kidane Mehret Cathedral, also known as the Tigrayan Orthodox Church, in Aurora. A close-knit community of Ethiopians gathered for a final farewell for Hagos.

The 51-year-old was remembered as a fun-loving, bright and charismatic person whose life was cut all too short.

“It was a horrible tragedy, and we are essentially in shock that this happened suddenly and in such a tragic way,” his niece, Abrehet Gebremedhin, said.

A smiling man in a cap in a framed picture surrounded by flowers
Goitom Hagos was driving for Uber when he was shot and killed in what police say was a random shooting in Denver. (KDVR)

Ethiopian sought refuge from war

Hagos, FOX31 was told, was among one of the first groups of people to seek refuge in Colorado after leaving the war-torn Tigray region in Ethiopia.

“You know, there are numbers of refugees because of the current genocide (in Ethiopia),” said Millete Birhanesmaskel, president of the Tigray Community of Colorado. “And so for us, you think you’ve made it here and now you’re safe, and to die in such a tragic way while you are working and making an honest living is just really devastating.”

Hagos’ family said he supported his family by driving an Uber and always being there to help them.

“My uncle, he was just always carefree, compassionate, always pushed me to be a better person and also to enjoy life,” his nephew, Yohannese Gebremedhin, said.

Hagos, FOX31 was told, helped pay for his nieces’ and nephews’ educations back home in Ethiopia.

Hagos was buried shortly after the service here Tuesday afternoon.