Friends of the 26-year-old Texas man who on Wednesday was shot and killed by San Francisco police were shocked to hear that he had been stabbing a Subway employee.
Alex Skokowski, who lived with Nicholas Flusche for over a year while the pair attended Texas State University, struggled to reconcile recent headlines with the man he had known. The pair had fallen out of touch and hadn't spoken since graduating in 2015, according to the San Francisco Examiner.
Still, Skokowski had a hard time imagining his friend hurting someone.
“Nick was always the person who was trying to solve problems,” he told the Examiner. “That doesn’t sound like Nick at all. He was a great dude. He was a southern gentleman.”
Skokowski, 26, remembered Flusche as someone who was highly motivated and brimming with ideas. Hailing from Muenster, Flusche as a business student had even thought of acquiring funding for a project to cure baldness.
Another friend, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Examiner that Fluesche had previously worked for a home security company. He had moved to the Bay Area to build a fitness and nutrition business.
Flusche was shot at 11:22 a.m. in the 900 block of Market Street after two officers came across a stabbing in progress, according to police Chief William Scott. The officers moved to intervene and "at least one" officer opened fire, he said.
Flusche, who was allegedly stabbing the other man, died at the scene. The stabbing victim was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.
Flusche's uncle has created a GoFundMe account to pay to transport the man's body from San Francisco to his hometown. Donations will also be used to cover funeral costs, Carl Flusche wrote.
As of Saturday evening, 89 people had raised $8,695, exceeding the $5,000 goal.
Contributors described Flusche as a "happy young man," who was "always courteous and kind." Someone else wrote that Flusche "always had a smile on his face followed with a big hug."
San Francisco police have yet to identify the officers involved in the shooting or the man who was stabbed by Flusche.
“Loss of life is tragic, doesn’t matter how it happens, it’s tragic,” Scott said following the deadly shooting. “These things, we try to avoid them as much as we can, but we have an obligation to protect the public.”
Bay City News contributed to this report.