Friends react to Las Vegas officer's death during rescue

Friends react to Las Vegas officer's death during rescue

By Jennifer Kastner. CREATED Jul 23, 2013

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Friends of Officer David Vanbuskirk said he was an openhearted and kind man. He fell to his death during a hiker rescue Monday night.

According to managers at a Henderson Starbucks, he was a regular at their location and made good friends with other regulars there.

They called the officer "Rambo Dave" because he was reportedly an outdoor enthusiast who was studying Mixed Martial Arts.

Friend Michael Connolly told Action News, Vanbuskirk was studying for an upcoming exam that he needed to pass in order to be promoted to sergeant.

For Connolly, losing Vanbuskirk is like losing a family member, "He was an unbelievable person. He was small in height, but he was big in personality and heart."

Neighbors in his Henderson community said the officer was a graduate of Green Valley High School.

Friends told Action News that he loved being with his wife and spent as much time with her as he could.

"David was one of the most sincere people and I just can't believe it," expressed Connolly.