Teammates Remember Homicide Victim

William Grahek was killed in Duluth's first homicide of 2017. His rugby teammates remember their teammate for his smile and positivity.

DULUTH, Minn. –

The victim of Duluth’s first homicide of 2017 is twenty-two-year old William Grahek. He is the son of a St. Paul police sergeant and also served in the Army. Police have a person of interest, but have made no arrests or charges. The investigation remains active.

Grahek played on the UMD Fighting Penguins rugby team. His teammates called him a friend of everyone, even if you only met him once. Friends said he was a guy that brought another level of energy both on the field and off.

“I’m just never going to forget his smile that’s who he was in one facial expression,” said Trace Bolstad, a Penguins teammate.

Grahek’s smile always beamed and was contagious to anyone he came into contact with. “It was big as wide as his mouth could open,” said teammate Storm Bajari. “He had grit but he never dropped that smile. He would get riled up but didn’t get angry,” said another teammate Conor Larson.

Grahek was pursuing a degree in criminal science and criminology while playing sport he loved. “I would say this is the most connected team i’ve been on. A lot of sports teams use the word family, i believe we’re definitely there. It’s not just something we say, it’s a brotherhood on the rugby team, it really is,” said Bolstad.

The team remembered a brother whose jersey got hung up way too soon. ” He was the kind of guy who showed up at practice and brought a whole new level of energy,” said Bolstad.

Grahek was a part of two of UMD’s national championship teams. “Usually you remember the good times of someone who passed away. I don’t think anyone has an option to remember any bad times with will,” said teammate Tim Stefczak.

“We’re going to work harder. I think if he wanted us to do anything, it’d be to work our butts off for this season and win another national championship,” said Bajari.

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