LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Dmitry Koltsov was a professional snowboarder from Russia.
But his life was cut short two weeks ago, when he was fatally shot in downtown Los Angeles. Rhett Nelson, the man accused of killing Koltsov, is the same man accused of fatally shooting Deputy Joseph Solano.
Koltsov’s body remained unidentified for several days while authorities located his family in Russia.
“He was a really good person,” friend Sylvia Mena said. “Every single person that I met through him, they only have good things to say about him.”
In 2010, Koltsov won the bronze medal at the Big Air Snowboard Championship and the silver medal at the Swiss Open Half Pipe Championship, but his skills were not limited to the snow. He was an avid skateboarder.
“He created a huge community here between Russians and skateboarders and surfers and snowboarders,” Mena said.
In honor of Koltsov, his friends have started a GoFundMe fundraiser to help cover the cost of transporting his body back to Russia.
“Dmitry, also known as Dima, lived an inspiring life, from skating in Moscow, to teaching surfing in Sri Lanka, to surfing the waves of Southern California,” a note posted to the page said. “He was a truly selfless soul, constantly helping and supporting his friends in whatever way he could.”
As of Monday night, more than $17,000 has been raised.
“I still haven’t said goodbye,” Mena said. “I feel that it’s still not the time to break, you know. There’s still a lot of things to do to help his family.”