NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Friends and former hockey teammates of the Metro officer killed in a fiery wreck on Thursday plan to honor him in the coming weeks.
Officer John Anderson was an avid hockey player who was well known at the Ford Ice Center and Bridgestone Arena where he patrolled Nashville Predators games and other events.
Nashville Predators VP of Marketing & Communications Danny Shaklan said the team and Ford Ice Center are in the process of establishing a program in Anderson's honor at the center. Details will be announced soon.
Anderson died after authorities say 17-year-old Jayona Brown sped through a blinking red light and smashed into his patrol car.
During his entire Metro career, Anderson worked for the Central police precinct where a police cruiser is now located for people to leave condolences.
The 28-year-old officer and member of the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve wore many hats including being a father to his 18-month-old son Gavin and bagpiper for the Drill and Ceremony team. On top of his busy schedule, he managed to include playing goalie for several adult leagues including the Adult Hockey League at Ford Ice Center and Lipscomb Hockey.
He also played for teams with veterans and first responders.
"He definitely loved the sport of hockey. It was something he enjoyed or else he wouldn't have spent all the time together with us," teammate Alex Sears said. "I felt like his number one priority on that team was to help others."
Sears described hearing the news of his death as a punch in the gut because Anderson was a generous and friendly man.
Former Lipscomb Hockey coach Phillip Faragalli said Anderson helped start the team a couple of years ago and recruited some players.
"He was one of the nicest guys there was on the team. He did a lot for everybody," Faragalli said.
The team is leaving their hockey sticks by the front door at night to honor Anderson.
Other leagues are planning to hold games to benefit Anderson's family.
The Shelter Cup Game is being held this weekend and will have a moment of silence.